Prince Harry Warns Young People Are Spending 'Too Much Time' Online
Prince Harry is speaking out on the dangers of spending too much time on social media.
On Thursday, the prince kicked off day two of his visit to Denmark with a visit to the Lagkagehuset bakery in Copenhagen, where he opened up about the effects of social media on young people’s mental health.
Addressing ambassadors for the “One of Us” mental health campaign — which provides support to young people with mental health issues — the prince said, “People are spending far too much time online and it’s like a mental running machine that they can’t get off. You wouldn’t put your body through such a workout,” he said during the event.
“I’m the last person to say ban it but people are suffering from mental fatigue and getting burnt out. We all need to talk to each other more,” he continued.
The charity’s ambassador, Troels Torp, told press after the visit: “You could see he had been in a dark place once himself because of his mother [Princess Diana] and that’s why he can relate to us. He was very kind and caring and down to earth.”
Much like his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate Middleton, Prince Harry has made mental health a central pillar of his public work. The royal trio all spearheaded Heads Together — an umbrella group of several charities aimed at reducing the stigma around mental health issues.
In a speech at a World Mental Health Day event earlier in October, William thanked everyone for what they’d done and said it was Kate “who first realized that all three of us were working on mental health in our individual areas of focus. She had seen that at the core of adult issues like addiction and family breakdown, unresolved childhood mental health issues were often part of the problem.”
Harry added that it was time to take the awareness to the next stage and take it into “new partnerships to support better conversations in schools and workplaces.”
Alastair Campbell, former spokesman for former Prime Minister Tony Blair, told PEOPLE the royals’ involvement has “been a massive boost to the broader campaign to try and raise awareness of mental health and mental illness. I’ve seen the impact that they can have in terms of pushing the debate in the right direction.”
“They’re clearly in this for the right reasons and for the long term,” he added. “This is not something they’re going to dip into and dip out of.”
On Wednesday, Prince Harry visited Copenhagen’s Palace of Amalienborg for an audience with Queen Margrethe.
And Harry made quite the impression on the monarch. While posing for photos in the grand hall, the prince was all smiles as Queen Margrethe, 77, dissolved into giggles.