Days after England’s Prince Harry spoke about how counseling and conversation helped him overcome years of emotional pain following the death of his mother, Princess Diana, his brother Prince William teamed with singer Lady Gaga to help prioritize the issue of mental health.
In a six-minute, professionally shot video posted on the royal family’s Facebook page, William, 32, and Gaga, 31, discuss the open letter she published on her Born This Way Foundation’s website in December, in which she revealed PTSD-related depression and anxiety. Calling it “incredibly moving and very brave of you,” he asked her how speaking out made her feel.
“It made me very nervous at first,” she replied, adding, “There’s a lot of shame attached to mental illness. You feel like something’s wrong with you. And in my life I go, ‘Oh my goodness, look at all these beautiful wonderful things that I have and I should be so happy,’ but you can’t help it if in the morning when you wake up you are so tired, you are so sad, you are so full of anxiety and the shakes that you can barely think.” Revealing her mental-health issues, she told him, “was like saying, ‘This is a part of me and that’s OK.’ . . . I feel like we are not hiding anymore. We’re starting to talk. And that’s what we need to do, really.”
“Absolutely,” replied the prince, who with the royal family is helping to spearhead the Heads Together campaign to combat stigma and support open conversation about everyday mental well-being. “It’s the same as physical health,” he said. “Everybody has mental health [concerns] and . . . just having a conversation with a friend or family member can make such a difference.”
“Even though it was hard, it was the best thing that could come out of my mental illness,” said Gaga. “To share it with other people and let [them] know that if you are feeling not well in your mind, that you’re not alone. And that people that you think would never have a problem do.”