Prince Harry Shares What He Learned About Supporting People with Suicidal Thoughts After Meghan's Struggle
Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey reunited to continue the conversation on mental health in a new episode of The Me You Can't See
After debuting The Me You Can't See docuseries on Apple TV+ last week, a companion episode called The Me You Can't See: A Path Forward premiered on Friday. The town hall format discussion brought Prince Harry, 36, and Oprah, 67, together again with advisors and participants from the multi-part docuseries for a wide-ranging conversation about mental health and where to go from here.
Harry — who is dad to 2-year-old son Archie with wife Meghan Markle, 39, and is expecting a baby girl this summer — touched on the importance of reminding people who are suffering from suicidal thoughts that they're not alone.
"So many people are afraid of being on the receiving end of that conversation because they don't feel like they have the right tools to give the right advice," the Duke of Sussex said. "But what you [want] to say is you're there. Listen, because listening and being part of that conversation is without doubt the best first step that you can take."
Earlier in the series, Prince Harry said his and Meghan's requests to get her help when she was feeling suicidal were met with "total neglect."
"I thought my family would help, but every single ask, request, warning, whatever, it is just got met with total silence, total neglect," he said. "We spent four years trying to make it work. We did everything that we possibly could to stay there and carry on doing the role and doing the job. But Meghan was struggling."
"One of the biggest lessons I've ever learned in life is you've sometimes got to go back and to deal with really uncomfortable situations and to be able to process it in order to be able to heal," Harry previously said in the series. "For me, therapy has equipped me to be able to take on anything."
"That's why I'm here now," he continued. "That's why my wife is here now. That feeling of being trapped within the family is ... There was no option to leave. Eventually, when I made that decision for my family, I was still told you can't do this."
In the new episode, Prince Harry told Glenn Close of his own experience of families when dealing with mental health problems and "covering it up."
"As parents, as siblings, certainly from what I've learned — there's an element of shame we feel, because we're like, 'How could we not have seen it? How did we not know? How did you not feel comfortable enough to come to me and share that with me?' But we all know when people are suffering and people are struggling, that we're all incredibly good at covering it up for those that know that we're covering it up," he said.
Prince Harry also spoke with Robin William's son Zak, saying they had "a lot of shared experience" when it came to grieving the loss of a parent with the public watching.
"I had trouble differentiating that grieving process at first and it was really challenging for me," Williams said. "I found myself extremely emotionally deregulated and feeling vulnerable and exposed when I wasn't ready to be vulnerable."
Prince Harry replied, "When you see so many people around the world grieving for someone they feel as though they knew them better than you did because you're unable to grieve yourself."
In The Me You Can't See, Harry opens up about experiencing panic attacks, starting therapy, and processing his mother Princess Diana's death in deeply honest conversations with Oprah.
The docuseries — which quickly became the No. 1 watched program worldwide on Apple TV+ following its May 21 debut — also features inspiring stories from Williams, Close, Lady Gaga, and Oprah herself.
Harry and Oprah co-created the series to "lift the veil" on mental health and wellbeing, the two recently said. "Now more than ever, there is an immediate need to replace the shame surrounding mental health with wisdom, compassion, and honesty. Our series aims to spark that global conversation," Oprah added.
If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey's mental-health docuseries, The Me You Can't See, is now available to stream on Apple TV+. The Me You Can't See: A Path Forward premieres Friday, free on the streaming service.