The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry celebrate World Mental Health Day

Published 09 October 2017

New initiatives are announced and Their Royal Highnesses reflect on the positive changes to how we are talking about mental health

A new start up for digital mental health innovation

In the lead up to World Mental Health Day, The Duke of Cambridge visited the Data Observatory at Imperial College London to receive a briefing on the progress the Heads Together campaign and its partners have made towards the national conversation on mental health.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry founded Heads Together in February 2016, in partnership with eight leading mental health charities to highlight how the power of conversations, being able to talk openly about mental health challenges, can be life-changing.

At the Data Observatory The Duke saw the results of the largest ever survey of the British public on mental health.

Heads Together is part of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and it has been announced that The Royal Foundation will invest £2 million in a new start up for digital mental health innovation.

A pledge of support for the Armed Forces

Prince Harry, with the Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, then launched a new partnership to improve the mental health of current and former Armed Forces personnel.

This joint initiative between the MOD and The Royal Foundation, will see the Foundation provide advice and resources to the MOD to improve training, education and information sharing for the entire Armed Forces.

“By looking after our mental health we are building a more effective armed forces that helps keep this country safe. Our soldiers, sailors and airmen are the best in the world but we will only maintain that if we are as serious about improving mental health as we are our combat skills and cutting-edge technology. So partnering with key groups like the Royal Foundation is an important part of our strategy to improve the wellbeing of our serving Armed Forces and veterans. ” – Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon

At the launch event Prince Harry delivered a speech on the importance of the initiative:

I am delighted that we are now going to make the most of what we have learned, and working with the MOD, fundamentally change the conversation on mental health inside the military.

A big 'thank you' to everyone involved in the Heads Together campaign

On World Mental Health Day itself, two events celebrated the fantastic contributions of professionals and individuals from across the country who have helped change the way mental health is treated and talked about.

The first event at St James’s Palace was a reception for everyone who has supported the Heads Together campaign since it launched in 2016. The campaign set out to give people the confidence to start a conversation on mental health, and get help when they need it.

A celebration of the mental health community in the UK

In the evening, Their Royal Highnesses were at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the contribution of those working in the mental health sector across the UK. The event recognised the progress, hard work and dedication of those determined to raise awareness of mental health issues over many years. It also provided an opportunity for The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry to thank those from the sector for the support they provide to so many going through difficult times in their lives.


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