Prince Harry Is Showing Support for Transgender Youth as Part of His Mental Health Work
Mermaids CEO Susie Green praised the royal for showing transgender children "that people with the authority and credibility that Prince Harry has are supporting them"
Prince Harry is not leaving anyone out of his mission to combat mental health stigmas and issues.
During his visit to a London YMCA earlier this month, the soon-to-be royal dad met with Mermaids CEO Susie Green, according to The Telegraph. The U.K. charity is a leader is supporting gender variant and transgender children, and Harry reportedly wanted to highlight the organization’s “important” work as part of the Royal Foundation’s ongoing efforts in the field of mental health.
Green told the outlet that the Duke of Sussex’s invitation to the roundtable discussion convened by The Royal Foundation’s “Heads Together” campaign – the mental health initiative spearheaded by the royals – was “quite heartening, bearing in mind that there is such controversy and we are attacked regularly.”
“I think it’s always really important to young people to see that people with the authority and credibility that Prince Harry has are supporting them and are listening and acknowledging the fact that they exist,” Green said. “This is somebody who has got that profile who’s showing clear understanding of the issues they’re facing.”
A spokesman for the Royal Foundation told The Telegraph, “Mermaids are one of a number of important organizations who are working on the frontline to support the mental health and well-being of young people in Britain. It is important for The Royal Foundation to work with organizations across the board to best understand the issues young people are dealing with today, and gain a clear understanding of what support is being made available.”
During his visit to the YMCA, Harry and charity leaders discussed the personal and social issues that are often the underlying cause for some of the mental well-being challenges that young people face. The prince also encouraged the organizations to share their success stories.
“Most of the people I’ve met who’ve been through a really dark place — 99 percent of them have come through it and found mechanisms to carry on with their normal life or have made serious adjustments in their life to be able to cope. You, as charities, I don’t believe necessarily put those people forward. Those are the icons, the people that young people need to see and hear their stories,” he said. “There is too much negativity surrounding mental health. No wonder it’s so hard for young people to actually talk about it.”
There was some time for fun during the visit too. Prince Harry popped in on a ballet class, where he was shown the “ballet challenge” – the students balancing on one leg while with a plastic disc on their head.
Harry then tried it himself, stretching out his arms and standing on one leg.
“You wobbled!” teased one tiny dancer.