Prince Harry stars in The Me You Can't See trailer
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The Duke of Sussex made the comments in The Me You Can’t See: A Path Forward, which was released on Apple TV in the early hours of Friday and followed the docuseries he teamed up with Opray Winfrey for. Harry – who is living in America after quitting royal duties with Meghan Markle – discussed the difficulties of grieving a family member who was in the public eye with Robin Williams’ son Zak.
Zak, whose actor father died by suicide in 2014, 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.”
Harry, whose mother died in a Paris car crash in 1997, added: “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?”
Harry reunited with Winfrey for the special episode after the release of their documentary series, The Me You Can’t See, last Friday.
The Duke also 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.
She said such communication helps give voice to something that’s “terribly distressing and terribly frightening for them to talk about”.
Harry 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.
“Listen, because listening and being part of that conversation is, without a doubt, the best first step that you can take.”
Earlier in the docuseries, Harry admitted he was “somewhat ashamed” of the way he dealt with his wife sharing her suicidal thoughts in 2019 when they were still working royals.
The Duke also insisted mental health and climate change are “the two most pressing issues” society is facing.
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He said: “I believe even more that climate change and mental health are 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.
“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.”
Actress Glenn Close also featured in the special episode and spoke about the impact of coronavirus on her wellbeing.
She told Harry and Winfrey: “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.”
Anyone in need of confidential emotional support can call Samaritans free on 116 123 or email them at josamaritans.org.
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