Prince William, Kate and Prince Harry have enlisted help from a range of British celebrities to launch a series of "groundbreaking" films about mental health. The royal trio commissioned the short videos with the hope of lifting the stigma on mental health. Rapper Professor Green – real name Stephen Manderson – former cricketer Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff, comedienne Ruby Wax and former Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell are among those who have starred in the videos. Former ITV news anchor Mark Austin is also seen discussing anorexia with his daughter Maddy.
"When I did start opening up to you and everyone else around me, I decided that I really wanted to get better." The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have shared some important films for @Heads_Together, featuring people from all walks of life, talking about the life changing conversation that helped them cope with their mental health problems. One of the films features broadcaster Mark Austin and his daughter Maddy, who discuss her teenage battle with anorexia, which left her close to death. Swipe right to see previews from four of the films – visit the link in our bio to see all ten films #OKtosay
The clips show celebrities and non-celebrities talking about their personal struggles, ranging from anxiety, alcoholism and depression to loneliness, trauma and bereavement. One video shows Professor Green and Freddie Flintoff discussing depression. "The hardest thing for me initially was talking," said the sportsman. "I'm not a big talker. I'm from the North of England, I'm from a working class family, we don't talk about our feelings." Rapper Professor Green agreed, saying: "It's no different from me growing up in a council estate in East London – it's just not something that was spoken about."
The first ten films, which were released on Wednesday, have been produced by award-winning directors including Stephen Frears and John Madden. A royal source said: "The films are really beautiful and incredibly impactful and Their Royal Highnesses are absolutely delighted with them." The videos are also being backed by web giants Facebook, Twitter and Google in the hope they will be shared as widely as possible so that viewers are inspired to have their own conversations about mental health.
"I do tell everyone I tried to end it because if I don't tell everyone or if I don't keep talking, I'm afraid I'll be back where I was." – thank you Phil, a Royal Marine Commando, and his wife Julie, for sharing your conversations on mental health with @heads_together to show thay it's #OKtosay. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have released ten films as part of the Heads Together mental health campaign. The films feature people from all walks of life talking, often with the person that they first opened up to, about the life changing conversation that helped them cope with their mental health challenges – click the link in our bio to see the ten inspiring films.
In a statement, William, Kate and Harry said: "Since we launched Heads Together last May, we have seen time and time again that shattering stigma on mental health starts with simple conversations. When you realise that mental health problems affect your friends, neighbours, children and spouses, the walls of judgement and prejudice around these issues begin to fall. And we all know that you cannot resolve a mental health issue by staying silent."
The royals added: "Attitudes to mental health are at a tipping point. We hope these films show people how simple conversations can change the direction of an entire life. Please share them with your friends and families and join us in a national conversation on mental health in the weeks ahead."