Speak up on mental health issues, Prince Harry urges young Singaporeans

SINGAPORE - Don't shy away from talking about mental health, said Prince Harry, in a meeting with young Singaporeans on Sunday (June 4).

"I think with social media, the internet, and everything else, a lot of false realities are thrown down young people's throats, expecting or thinking that everybody's life is perfect," he said to a group of six youth mentors in a closed-door session.

The session, held at the British ambassador's residence, was part of the British prince's two-day visit to Singapore, which ended on Monday.

The youth mentors who attended the session have suffered from mental health issues themselves and have recovered enough to be able to support others in similar situations. Some of the mentors are peer support specialists with a youth mental health and outreach assessment service called the Community Health Assessment Team (Chat).

Noting that people tend to, for some reason, be averse to mental health issues, Prince Harry urged young people in Singapore to speak out about such matters.

"You have to talk about your mental health in order to be mentally fit and therefore be happy and healthy for the rest of your life," said the prince.


Last year, he and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, launched the Heads Together campaign in Britain to end the stigma surrounding mental health.

The topic is close to the prince's heart. In April he opened up to British media about how he sought counselling after 20 years of bottling up his grief over his mother Princess Diana's death when he was 12.

During Sunday's session, Prince Harry also encouraged the group to create platforms and foundations to broach the topic of mental health with their friends.

He said: "It's important for guys like you to bang the drum and encourage others. If you can just help one person not have to go through what you went through and suffer in silence, then you've saved a life."