Prince William Addresses Workplace Stress: 'It Can Be Overwhelming'
"Mental health exists just as physical health exists," said the royal dad. "It is no big deal."
Prince William took his mental health campaign to the workplace on Monday.
“Work, as we all know, can at times be a source of great fulfillment, growth and fun, but also at times a significant source of stress sometimes — if we are honest, to the point of its being overwhelming,” he told a meeting of the Heads Together campaign, the mental-health initiative he kicked off with wife Princess Kate and brother Prince Harry in April.
“Catherine, Harry and I have been campaigning on this issue for only a few months now, but what we have observed already is that when we get our heads together when we talk and listen to family, to friends and colleagues, we share the load; we reduce the problem; we realize we are not alone and we break down the barriers that prevent us from getting the help we need,” he said. “It is really that simple: a problem shared is a problem halved.”
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He praised businesses that had made mental health a priority while urging others to do the same. At his work with the East Anglian Air Ambulance Service — where he has spoken previously about the “sad, dark” moments he faces —he says they are supportive.
“I have also seen how an employer can create an environment where it is as unremarkable to talk about feeling a bit ‘down’ as it is to admit to having a cold,” he told the gathering at Unilever’s headquarters in London. (The company is a founding partner of Heads Together.)
“All of the air ambulance team know that we can get help for what is going on in our heads if we need it. We know where to turn, as practical help is well sign-posted, and we know that no one will judge us if we do admit to difficulties. Mental health exists just as physical health exists. It is no big deal.”
William, who recently admitted he has faced some “struggles” as a parent, pointed out that mental health illnesses cause absences that costs companies $33 billion each year in the U.K. and told business leaders, “We cannot do this without employers and we believe it is in your interest.”