Mental health does not discriminate – anyone who has struggled with depression, anxiety, OCD or any other mental health condition knows that much.
While your personal circumstances can help when it comes to accessing treatment, they are no buffer to the effects of any condition.
Case in point: Prince Harry has had his own mental health struggles, admitting he sought counselling in his efforts to deal with the death of his mother when he was just 12 years old.
The royal has been a vocal mental health advocate, heading up campaigns and meeting with grassroots campaigners in the UK and overseas, and his latest comments during a visit to Australia demonstrate how clearly and candidly he has been able to speak on the subject.
“We know that suicide rates in rural and remote areas are greater than in urban populations and this may be especially true among young men in remote regions,” Prince Harry said in a speech to locals in the drought-hit town of Dubbo, around 200 miles from Sydney.
“You need to know a part of being strong and tough is having the courage to ask for help when you need it.
“You must not silently suffer. You are all in this together and if I may speak personally we are all in this together, because asking for help was one of the best decisions that I ever made.
“You will be continually amazed how life changes for the better.”
The prince spoke of the continuing stigma around mental health among men and urged those struggling with their mental health to speak to someone, saying “All you need to do is to ask for [support].
“Ask your neighbour, your peer, your fellow farmer is literally right around the corner.
“Chances are they may well be suffering too and will relish the opportunity to either listen or talk themselves.”
You can watch Prince Harry’s full speech here:
According to the Samaritans, there were 5,821 suicides recorded in the UK in 2017, with men three times as likely as women to take their own lives.
Suicide is the leading killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK, and the same goes for Australia according to news.com.au.
While Prince Harry’s circumstances are not the same as everyone’s, it remains significant that he is using his notable platform to raise awareness and remind men it’s okay to be open whenever they’re struggling.
The NHS has a list of sources of help and advice if your mental health is causing you difficulties. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article please contact the Samaritans helpline on 116 123.