Prince Harry opens up about his mental health struggle

royals 29/10/2018

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have praised the work of two mental health advocates, backing their message 'mental health doesn't discriminate'.

Voices of Hope founders Jazz Thornton and Genevieve Mora met with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Monday morning at Wellington's Maranui Café with three Lifeline workers where Prince Harry revealed his own struggles.

"It's an issue that's so close to their heart, he's obviously Royal family and he's gone through his own thing, he said it can literally affect anyone," Ms Thornton told Newshub.

"Mental illness does not discriminate, we made that an important message and he backed that up by saying 'yes, it doesn't discriminate, you can be anyone and go through this sort of thing'," she said.

Newshub.

Ms Mora said it was a "huge honour" to be able to talk to them about an issue that is so important and impacts many New Zealanders.

"He was asking us questions and being very open about his own struggles with mental health, so it was a very open conversation and we all got a chance to really say what we needed to say," she said.

"He was genuinely really interested in the work we're doing."

Ms Thornton said Prince Harry was so interested in their discussion; he was reluctant to be moved along from their chat.

"They started shooing him along, and he said 'Ah, they're shooing us along but we don't want to leave yet', so I am pretty sure they would have stayed longer if they could but they were on a time constraint."

During the conversation the pair discussed the work their organisation does by providing hope for people struggling with mental health issues.

Together they create online and social media content which explores a person's story at their lowest moments, but importantly promotes what got them through and teaches others methods to persevere through hardships of any kind.

"They agreed it was a good way to get to talk to people because it's an accessible form of content, they thought what we are doing is amazing and I think they liked the fact that we've been through it ourselves," Ms Thornton said.

Newshub.

The two young women told their Royal Highnesses how their video 'Dear Suicidal Me' was seen by a 15-year-old girl who had decided to take her own life, but was moved by the footage to change her mind.

The teenager's mother contacted the pair and thanked them for their commitment to helping others.

Both Ms Thornton and Ms Mora have been through their own severe battles with mental health which required hospitalisation at their most serious points.

Ms Thornton, who suffered depression and survived 14 suicide attempts, told the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that after coming out the other side of their own adversities, it was then they each wanted to help others who face similar struggles.

Ms Mora was diagnosed with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) at 12 years old which landed her in a psychiatric ward on two occasions, caused intense anxiety and contributed to her dropping out of school. Her obsession with control saw her then develop an eating disorder.

Their bond formed facing significant challenges and a common interest quickly evolved in wanting to use their own journey's to help others. 

Newshub.