Published 10 October 2017

You have all been invited to the palace to recognise that in the UK, we now accept that the health of our minds is as essential as the health of our bodies.

The Duke of Cambridge

Good evening everybody.

On behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, I am delighted to welcome you all to Buckingham Palace.

Tonight, we are here to celebrate decades of tireless campaigning; after thousands of people have given their time and energy; and after many brave individuals have had the courage to come forward and share their stories, mental health is no longer a Cinderella issue.

You have all been invited to the palace to recognise that in the UK, we now accept that the health of our minds is as essential as the health of our bodies.

Tonight, on the evening of World Mental Health Day, we celebrate that while there is more work to do, the walls of judgement and stigma around mental illness are finally falling.

Catherine, Harry and I are proud to stand up in support of this community. All three of us have seen that mental health is at the heart of so many of the issues we are passionate about.

Catherine has been inspired by the work being done to support children, parents and teachers to prioritise mental health from the earliest years of life.

Harry has seen first-hand that recovery from emotional challenges is every bit as important as recovery from physical injury for our veterans.

And through my work with homelessness and responding to emergencies both as a Search and Rescue and HEMS pilot, I have seen how serious the consequences of poor mental health can be.

We know that none of the recent work we have supported through our Heads Together campaign would have been possible without the people in this very room.

It was organisations represented here that fought quietly for decades to challenge the notion that mental health was not as important as physical health.

It was you that supported people who were often the victims of prejudice and misunderstanding at times when they just needed help, advice, and care.

It was the mental health community in this country that has pushed this issue to its tipping point.

And I am now delighted to introduce someone who has made an enormous contribution to the progress we are here to celebrate.

Please welcome Stephen Fry.