The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry show 'it's OK to say' in latest film for Heads Together

19th April 2017 By: Anastasia Bow-Bertrand

A new film featuring The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry has been released today as part of the Heads Together campaign's #oktosay series.

The film captures a conversation between Their Royal Highnesses in the gardens of Kensington Palace as they look ahead to the Virgin Money London Marathon and reflect on the growth of the campaign, of which the Anna Freud National Centre is a charity partner.

The conversation covers a range of topics including the emotional changes new parents go through, bereavement, the importance of early intervention, the stresses of modern childhood, and dealing with trauma in the workplace.

Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge is seen reflecting on a conversation she had during a visit to the Anna Freud National Centre’s Early Years Parenting Unit in January. She recalls how a young mother said that "just talking to somebody and having those conversations is like medicine for her and that’s the point; it’s OK to have a conversation even if it is uncomfortable or awkward, but it’s just starting it.”

The Duchess also praises her brother-in-law, Prince Harry, for opening up about how he and his brother coped with the death of their mother and how they are only now truly realising the importance of talking about their experience.

Professor Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive Officer at the Anna Freud National Centre, said:

"The Prince's [Harry's] story of finally seeking help and benefitting from talking is something  everyone should take notice of. The relief of explaining what is troubling us is universal; so it is important that we are prepared to be there to listen with concern, empathy and refrain from judgements. Mental health is everyone’s business."

This special film also explains the story behind the Heads Together campaign and Their Royal Highnesses' goal to shine a spotlight on the power of conversations – both to challenge stigma on mental health and to help people access the support they need.

The filmed conversation highlights that speaking up can be incredibly difficult, but that not only is it #oktosay, but that talking about experiences can be hugely healing. Our expert, Dr Sheila Redfern, Head of Specialist Trauma and Maltreatement Services was asked by Heads Together to prepare a guide about how to talk about mental health.

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We are delighted to be able to share it here and encourage others to take the lead from their Royal Highnesses and get the country talking about mental health. A spokesman for Kensington Palace described the nation as being "in the middle of a truly national conversation on mental health."

The entire #oktosay film series is available to watch on the Heads Together YouTube page and website and feature a wide range of people including familiar faces Stephen Fry, footballer Rio Ferdinand, comedian and Anna Freud National Centre trustee Ruby Wax and, most recently, Lady Gaga who is seen discussing how crucial it is to have conversations about mental health with Prince William.

These films have been released in the run up to the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon, for which Heads Together has the privilege of being the Official Charity of the Year. Please do watch, share, and get talking.