The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have announced that they will spearhead a new campaign to end stigma around mental health.
Heads Together aims to change the national conversation on mental wellbeing and will be a partnership with a number of mental health charities, including Mind. It will be the biggest single project Their Royal Highnesses have undertaken together.
The campaign will be the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year. The Virgin Money London Marathon is the UK's premier charitable event and its energetic and positive fundraising and awareness platform is the perfect springboard for the Heads Together campaign.
The other charities partnering in Heads Together are: Best Beginnings, CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably, Contact (a military mental health coalition), Place2Be, TheMix and YoungMinds.
A spokesman for The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry said:
"Through their work with young people, emergency response, homeless charities, and with veterans, Their Royal Highnesses have seen time and time again that unresolved mental health problems lie at the heart of some of our greatest social challenges.
Too often, they have seen that people feel afraid to admit that they are struggling with their mental health. This fear of prejudice and judgement stops people from getting help and can destroy families and end lives. They also believe that people need to feel much more comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing and have the practical tools to support their friends and family.”
Paul Farmer CBE, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
“We’re thrilled that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have chosen to stand with Mind and other charities to shine a spotlight on mental health by raising vital awareness and funds to make a difference in the lives of people with mental health problems.
“Heads Together marks a landmark moment for mental health and we are proud to be part of the collaboration. This is also the first time that the London Marathon has chosen mental health as a cause and we can’t wait to see the excitement build throughout the year.
“With one in four people experiencing a mental health problem each year, it has never been more important to tackle the stigma that surrounds this and support those who need it most.”
Kavita Patal, runner in the 2017 marathon, said:
“I’m so excited to be part of the Heads Together campaign, as it’s really going to put mental health on the map. It was great to be able to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry in the lead up to the launch. It’s clear that they are passionate about supporting mental health, and I can’t wait to see the campaign unfold over the coming year!
“In 2012, I was diagnosed with a physical health condition and experienced a difficult time at work which left me feeling helpless and isolated from my family and friends. I went to see my GP, who diagnosed me with depression. I was referred to my local hospital for a course of cognitive behavioural therapy.
“I soon realised that exercise, particularly running, helped me to feel physically and mentally better. Over the years I have become an active runner, and last year set my sights on running the London Marathon. It’s incredible that I can be part of Heads Together, I can’t wait to be part of this exciting movement for mental health.”
To find out more about Heads Together and get involved, visit www.headstogether.org.uk