Prince Harry fights mental health stigma; opens up about his agony post mom Diana’s death

This year marks the 20th death anniversary of Princess Diana. While the royals have decided to keep the event a low-key affair, Prince Harry has revealed his 20-year-old agony over his mother’s death that left him in need of counseling. The prince, who was 12 years old at the time of Princess Diana’s demise in a car crash in 1997, admitted that he ignored his grief for years and finally faced his pain at the age of 28 when he was about to punch someone.

In a candid interview with the leading British daily The Telegraph, the 32-year-old prince revealed that it was not until his late 20s that he was able to process the grief of his mother’s death. “It was 20 years of not thinking about it and two years of total chaos,” he said. According to Prince Harry, post his mother’s death, he had shut down all his emotions for two decades. The prince said that as he struggled to come to terms with his mother’s death, his brother Prince William had implored him to seek counseling after two years of total chaos.

Prince Harry, who served 10 years in the British armed forces, said how his struggles had consumed most of his 20s. The prince revealed that he had tried to cope with his personal tragedy by not talking about it. Before seeking therapy, he had endured two years of total chaos when he became a problem to himself and did not know what was wrong.

Counseling and boxing

Prince Harry said that his denial about his mental health problem led to him becoming the problem that he did not know how to deal with. While he ignored his grief, he decided to throw himself into an adventurous and fun life. In an extraordinary personal disclosure, the prince admitted that opening up about his feelings left him in a good place and that he wanted to do everything that he could in removing the stigma around mental health.

He explained how post a few conversations with the counselor, the grief that he had never processed before came to the fore. He added that because of the process he had been through over the last two-and-a-half years, he had been able to take his private life and professional life more seriously. In addition to counseling, what helped the young royal overcome his grief was boxing. As per Prince Harry, everyone kept saying that boxing was good for letting out the aggression. According to him, boxing saved him as he was on the verge of punching someone.

Mental health campaign

The recent statement by the prince is the latest indication of a shift within the British monarchy toward greater openness with mental health issues. To address and destigmatize mental health issues, the royal trio – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry – have launched the Heads Together campaign.

The Heads Together campaign aims at bringing together mental health charities throughout the United Kingdom to destigmatize mental disorders. The charity has collaborated with eight mental health organizations. Through the campaign, the royal trio hopes to change the shame and stigma surrounding mental health. They also want to encourage children, families and teachers to open up and seek help without any fear of judgment.

Road to recovery

If you feel that a loved one is suffering from any mental health illnesses, get in touch with the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline experts. Our representatives can help you find the best mental health counselors in the U.S. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with our representatives to know about one of the top mental health centers offering mental health programs near you.