Mind supports Duchess of Sussex for speaking about mental health

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey delivered a masterclass in journalism during her interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, says James Marston. - Credit: PA

A mental health charity has applauded the Duchess of Sussex for speaking about her mental health as it aims to encourage others to speak out.

In the interview with Oprah Winfrey, the duchess said she experienced suicidal thoughts as she discussed struggles inside royal life in addition to revelations about racism, the media and other members of the Royal Family.

The charity Mind said conversations around mental health were difficult as the duchess told Winfrey she was also discouraged from getting help for her mental health.

Paul Farmer, chief executive, said: “We recognise the importance of the Duchess of Sussex sharing her mental health experiences. Too often, feelings of shame and isolation mean people affected by mental health problems go without the help and support they need and deserve.

"Despite positive changes, we know when people do speak out, even today, too many people face discrimination across different areas of their lives – in the workplace, from family and friends, education, and from the health service. Positive improvements in people’s attitudes to mental health are something to celebrate, but we all still have a role to play to reduce mental health stigma and discrimination.”

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The charity has criticised the actions of broadcaster Piers Morgan following the interview and called for people reaching out for support to be treated with dignity, respect and empathy.

Norfolk and Waveney Mind said it was important to encourage people to come forward and seek support.

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Katy Hall, head of service - operations for support interventions for recovery, said: "Speaking out about experiences of mental ill health is so important as it encourages many people to come forward and seek support but also helps people to realise that they are not alone.

"When this sharing of experience comes from someone in the public eye or someone who could be a role model for many it really helps to normalise the fact that struggling with your mental health can happen to anyone regardless of your circumstances.

If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week. You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple & Android.

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