Prince William, Harry And Princess Kate Team Up For Mental Health Project

Prince William Harry Kate

The royal family is kicking off 2017 with a high-profile campaign addressing mental health in the U.K.

Prince William, Prince Harry and Princess Kate founded Heads Together in order to change conversations about mental health in the country. ABC News reported that the trio held a joint press conference on Tuesday (Jan. 17), urging Brits to be more vocal about their struggles with mental health without fear of judgment from others.

“There are times when, whoever we are, it is hard to cope with challenges – and when that happens being open and honest and asking for help is life-changing,” said William. “Talking to someone else is a positive and confident step to take but for too long it has been a case of ‘keep quiet and carry on.’ As a result, too many people have suffered in silence for too long, and the effects of this can be devastating.”

Kate reiterated the importance of sharing mental health struggles with others, noting that “two heads are better than one. She said that their work looks to help reduce the stigma around mental illness and mental health issues so that the U.K. begins “thinking about it as we do our physical health.” Harry added that “in the past, ‘mental health’ would be translated to mental illness, but thankfully that is changing” among Brits.

“William, Harry and I have been very privileged to witness in the course of our work countless examples of simple conversations that have changed lives,” said Kate, “which were the first step on a path to recovery.”

Kate has been also working to combat drug and alcohol addiction in the U.K. In April 2013, she launched a counseling program called M-PACT, which works with kids whose parents suffer from substance abuse issues. She has also toured a dry bar in the city of Liverpool, visited a rehab center and met  with recovering addicts.

I feel fortunate to have met a wide range of inspirational people who have overcome addiction. But those who are addicted are not the only victims. I have been struck by the profound and deeply damaging impact it has on the children of affected parents,” said Kate at the launch of her program. “My hope is that through this specialist and targeted delivery of care, these children will have the best possible start in life—the one that they deserve.”