Prince Harry revealed today how he coped with his wife Meghan Meghan feeling like she wanted to kill herself as he spoke about the importance of telling a suicidal person that they are ‘not alone’.
Speaking with Oprah Winfrey on Apple TV+, the Duke of Sussex explained that he now feels better equipped to know how to respond to someone who tells him they are thinking about ending their own life.
It comes a week after the 36-year-old royal confessed in an episode of his ‘The Me You Can’t See’ documentary series that he did not know how to react when Meghan told him in early 2019 that she was feeling suicidal.
In the new episode released early this morning, Harry and Oprah agreed that the best piece of advice they learned while filming the mental health docuseries was to tell a suicidal person that they are ‘not alone’.
The Duke said: ‘So many people are afraid of being on the receiving end of that conversation [from a suicidal person] because they don’t feel like they have the right tools to give the right advice.
‘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 docuseries, Harry said he was ‘somewhat ashamed’ of the way he dealt with Meghan sharing her suicidal thoughts before a charity event at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2019.
As Harry was at the centre of another TV show, he revealed:
- Harry talks about depression with Glenn Close and says the global shift caused by Covid-19 is ‘just as big as 9/11 was’;
- The Duke says there is a link between mental health problems and climate change, saying: ‘With kids growing up in today’s world, pretty depressing, right, depending on where you live, your home country is either on fire, it’s either underwater, houses or forests are being flattened;
- Harry and Robin Williams’ son Zak speak of the difficulties of grieving a family member who was in the public eye.
Prince Harry has spoken candidly on Apple+ TV about how he dealt with learning his wife Meghan Markle was feeling suicidal
Harry and Meghan are pictured at the Royal Albert Hall in London on January 16, 2019 – the night she told him she was suicidal
The discussion on Apple TV+ also featured conversations with mental health experts, who also spoke about suicide
In an episode released last week, Harry recalled the moment a pregnant Meghan told him that she wanted to kill herself. She revealed the news shortly before an engagement at the Royal Albert Hall in London in January 2019.
‘I’m somewhat ashamed of the way that I dealt with it,’ Harry revealed.
Harry takes another swipe at royals with talk of how families are ‘incredibly good at covering up’ mental health struggles because of their ‘shame’ in latest Oprah Apple show – two years in the making… BEFORE Megxit
Prince Harry today dropped more truth bombs and took new swipes at the Royal Family in a bonus episode of his Apple+ TV show, telling viewers he had ‘learned’ that relatives ‘feel shame’ when confronted with mental health problems and are ‘incredibly good at covering it up’.
The Duke of Sussex also admitted that he and Oprah started planning the bombshell series two years ago – showing how he was already taking steps towards a new life away from royal duties before he emigrated with Meghan and Archie in January 2020.
In another extraordinary episode, described by viewers as another TV therapy session for Harry, he also described his struggles with the death of Princess Diana in a discussion with the son of Robin Williams and insisted that mental health problems such as depression are directly linked to climate change.
Harry also said he had learned it was best to tell a suicidal person that they are ‘not alone’ and ‘listening’, drawing on his experiences when Meghan told him she wanted to kill herself while six-months pregnant with Archie.
And he told Oprah that he now feels better equipped to discuss mental health and suicide after shooting the series, which experts say has caused a ‘huge gulf’ between him and the Queen, Prince Charles and his brother William.
‘And of course, because of the system that we were in and the responsibilities and the duties that we had, we had a quick cuddle and then we had to get changed to jump in a convoy with a police escort and drive to the Royal Albert Hall for a charity event. Then step out into a wall of cameras and pretend as though everything’s okay.’
Today’s bonus episode of The Me You Can’t See also featured conversations with mental health experts and celebrities about suicide.
Actress Glenn Close made an appearance, saying it was important to talk openly about the struggles of suicidal thoughts.
Close admitted that she felt some shame for not realizing a family member had been struggling with their mental health.
Harry added: ‘There’s an element of shame that we feel because we’re like ‘How could we have not have seen it? How could we not know? How did you not feel comfortable enough to share that with me?”
He did not saying whether he was directly referring to his own reaction to Meghan telling him that she no longer wanted to live.
Elsewhere in the 90-minute episode, the Duke and Robin Williams’ son Zak spoke of the difficulties of grieving a family member who was in the public eye.
Robin Williams, the four-time Oscar winning actor, killed himself in 2014 with tributes paid from across the entertainment world.
Zak said: ‘From my end it was really hard to separate initially the process of privately grieving versus sharing the grieving with the general public.
‘I really didn’t get a chance to really focus on the private grieving process until a year and a half after my dad passed away.’
The duke, whose mother Diana, Princess of Wales, died in 1997, said: ‘I think we have a lot of shared experience when you talk about that … when you see so many people around the world grieving for someone they feel as though they knew them better than you did in a weird way because you’re unable to grieve yourself.
‘It’s like … how are you grieving more for someone who was my parent and I’m unable to grieve myself?’
The show had experts from The Me You Can’t See advisory board further discussing issues raised during the five-part series on mental health.
Harry picked up on a point raised by Jo Robinson, head of suicide prevention research at Orygen, about the importance of talking openly about suicide and self-harm.
Such communication helps give voice to something that’s ‘terribly distressing and terribly frightening for them to talk about’, she said.
Prince Harry has bonded with Robin Williams’ son Zak during a bonus episode of his Apple+ TV series, The Me You Can’t See
Harry said earlier in the series that his family tried to prevent him and Meghan from leaving when she was having suicidal thoughts, insisting they were ‘neglected’ and ‘trapped’ but have no regrets about quitting for LA
Harry and Zak have bonded over the unusual experience of having one of their universally beloved parents die tragically. Harry and Princess Diana are pictured at left in 1995; Zak and Robin Williams are seen at right in 2012
Glenn Close made an appearance, saying it was important to talk openly about mental health issues and suicidal thoughts
The duke said: ‘I think it’s so interesting because so many people are afraid of being on the receiving end of that conversation (about suicide) because they don’t feel as though they have the right tools to be able to give the right advice but what you’re saying is you’re there.
‘Your country is either on fire or underwater’: Harry says climate change is one of the two ‘most pressing issues’ facing world – the other issue being mental health
Prince Harry today said it was ‘pretty depressing’ that children were growing up in a world where their home country was ‘either on fire or underwater’, insisting that climate change must be tackled ‘at the source’.
The Duke of Sussex warned that mental health and climate change are ‘the two most pressing issues’ society is facing, as he spoke in ‘The Me You Can’t See: A Path Forward’, which came out on Apple TV+ early this morning.
Harry also talked about an analogy of ‘walking into the bathroom with a mop when the bath is over-flooding, rather than just turning the tap off’ – and said the world needs a ‘reckoning moment’ after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to Oprah, the Duke said: ‘With kids growing up in today’s world, pretty depressing, right, depending on where you live, your home country is either on fire, it’s either underwater, houses or forests are being flattened.
‘Climate change is really playing a huge part in this as well as social media, and we just don’t – well, I mean, I know lots of people out there are doing as best they can to try and fix these issues – but that whole sort of analogy of walking into the bathroom with a mop when the bath is over-flooding, rather than just turning the tap off.
‘Are we supposed to accept that these problems are just going to grow and grow and grow and then we’re going to have to adapt to them and build the resilience amongst the next generation and the next generation and the next generation?
‘Or is there really a moment, a reckoning moment, post-Covid, where we can actually look at each other, look at ourselves and go ‘we need to do better about stopping or allowing the things that are causing so much harm to so many of us at the source, rather than being distracted by the symptom’.’
‘Listen, because listening and being part of that conversation is, without a doubt, the best first step that you can take.’
Harry also told Oprah he felt mental health and climate change were ‘two of the most pressing issues that we’re facing and, in many ways, they are linked’.
‘The connecting line is about our collective well-being and when our collective well-being erodes, that effects our ability to be caretakers of ourselves, of our communities and of our planet ultimately,’ the 36-year-old added.
‘We have to create a more supportive culture for each other where challenges don’t have to live in the dark, where vulnerability is healthy and encouraged and, of course, where physical and mental health can be treated equally because they are one.’
Pop superstar Lady Gaga and actress Glenn Close also featured in the series, with Gaga discussing her serious mental health struggles after she was raped as a teenager.
Close returned for the conversation special and spoke about the impact of Covid-19 on her wellbeing.
She told Harry and Oprah: ‘It has directly affected my mental health. It helped that I had a dog.
‘I think – and I was thinking about this today – we have gone through an amazing, unprecedented time now. For me, I think it’s as big a shift in the world as 9/11 was.
‘We now are in a transforming world. It will take us a while to be able to articulate to ourselves what the result of that has been on us as individuals.’
In the series which came out last Friday, people from around the world discussed their experiences battling issues of depression, trauma, anxiety, and mental illness, and included famous faces like Lady Gaga, Glenn Close, and NBA star DeMar DeRozan.
During the series, Harry said therapy helped him ‘break the cycle.’ He said: ‘For me, therapy has equipped me to be able to take on anything. I knew if I didn’t do the therapy and fix myself I would lose this woman I could see spending the rest of my life [with].’
He said his family tried to prevent him and Meghan from leaving when she was suicidal and admitted to drinking and doing drugs in his 30s.
‘Eventually when I made that decision for my family, I was still told, ‘You can’t do this,’ Harry told Oprah. ‘And it’s like, ‘Well how bad does it have to get until I am allowed to do this?’
‘She [Markle] was going to end her life. It shouldn’t have to get to that.’
When asked if he has any regrets, he says it is not taking a stand earlier in his relationship with Meghan.
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