Watch Prince William and Lady Gaga FaceTime About Mental Illness: 'We're Not Hiding Anymore'
The Grammy winner spoke from the kitchen of her Los Angeles home, while the prince sat at a desk in Kensington Palace for the talk.
“We have to make the strongest, most relentless attempt we can to normalize mental health issues, so that people feel like they can come forward,” Lady Gaga told William after he suggested they meet up when she comes to the U.K. later this year.
They released a four-minute film on the royal family’s Facebook page and Lady Gaga’s social media early Tuesday. It came a day after Prince Harry broke the news that he had sought therapy to cope with the “total chaos” in his life following the death of his mother Princess Diana.
In the new film, William told Lady Gaga he was impressed by her talking about PTSD. She revealed that speaking out helped her to heal.
Lady Gaga told him, “Even though it was hard, [it was] the best thing that could come out of my mental illness was to share it with other people and let our generation, as well as other generations know that if you are feeling not well in your mind that you’re not alone and that people that you think would never have a problem, do.”
William said, “It’s time that everyone speaks up and really feels very normal about mental health. It’s the same as physical health. Everybody has mental health, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it and just having a conversation with a friend or family member can really make such a difference.”
“It’s really important to have this conversation and that you won’t be judged. It’s so important to break open that fear and that taboo which is only going to lead to more problems down the line,” William added.
Also on Tuesday, an emotional Prince William described how his grief over his mother’s death sparked his desire to campaign on mental health issues.
He made the comments during an impassioned off-the-cuff speech after watching a preview of a BBC documentary about runners with mental health problems training for the London Marathon.
“Wow, yeah. I’m speechless actually. I’m quite emotional. So I am just going to take a minute to calm myself down,” he said on stage at the BBC Radio Theatre in the corporation’s new headquarters in front of an audience of broadcasting executives and the 10 runners who took part in the documentary, Mind Over Marathon.
“I have my own reasons for being involved in mental health — what happened to me and my mother when I was younger,” he said, adding that in his charity work so much of the problems affecting people boiled down to similar issues. “It all comes back down to mental health.”
Following the release of his video chat with Lady Gaga and possibly giving a veiled response to his brother’s admission that he had been close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions, William said, “The more we have influential and very important people speaking about their issues and their battles, the better.”
Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta set up Born This Way Foundation in 2012, while William, Kate and Harry began their Heads Together initiative last spring.
The video chat with Lady Gaga came as the royals released the latest YouGov research on the way young people talk about their mental health, including how they increasingly use phones, emails and social media for these conversations.
It showed that those in the 18-24 age group are talking more often than older age groups about their mental health, but that they are more likely to talk to a friend and less comfortable talking to family members or a doctor. It also shows that young people are much more likely than other age groups to start a conversation about their own mental health via text, email or a social media.