Mental health matters. For you. For us. For everyone.
We all move through the world with emotions that shape our lives and perspectives. We all experience trauma, grief, pain, joy, happiness — and everything in between — in our own ways.
We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health.
Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey’s new documentary series, The Me You Can’t See, has created a space for many to share their personal journeys of mental health and has inspired open, global conversation. People have bravely spoken up, and with each new voice, we see the shame and stigma dissipate, piece by piece. This is just the beginning.
So, where do we go from here? Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey hosted a special town hall, The Me You Can’t See: A Path Forward, with series participants and expert advisers to reflect and respond to just that. This thought-provoking discussion covers the importance of being open about our mental health, caring for those suffering in our communities, building more effective, individualized systems, and ensuring that everyone — regardless of their situation — can access quality support and care. We want to share a collection of quotes, here, that touch the surface of the wisdom shared. You can watch the full town hall conversation, The Me You Can’t See: A Path Forward, streaming now on Apple TV+.
We hope that hearing the experts’ perspectives can help you in your personal journey of understanding and healing — in service of building more compassionate communities.
“The Me You Can’t See: A Path Forward”
“The best thing is when those of us with lived experience share our stories with people that haven’t had that experience yet. That’s how we start to shift mindsets…Stigma comes up time and time again with mental health. Two thirds of people in a survey that we did in England said that stigma was as bad, if not worse, than the symptoms of a mental health problem itself…. There’s a really fantastic guy called Edwin, in Kenya, who is a champion of the stigma campaign with Basic Needs Basic Rights in Kenya. I love what he says… ‘If I keep silent, stigma wins.’ It will continue to win if we can’t tell our stories.” Sue Baker Director, Time to Change, Mind
“I think we really need to humanize the idea of mental health. It’s not about sickness. It’s about being a human being. It’s about living your life, what happens to you, and how you make meaning of what happens to you and what support that you need. If we start acknowledging that we all have mental health, sometimes it can be a real asset, and we can all build that asset just like we can build our physical fitness.” Shaun Robinson Chief Executive, Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
“My lived experience of mental health challenges has shaped my view that oppression is a major source of emotional distress and poor mental well-being. I would like everyone, especially in the world of mental health, to become oppression-conscious…If every single one of us, across the world, in all communities, takes the responsibility to become self-aware enough so that we are not agents of oppression or discrimination, that we appropriately challenge any oppressive behavior, wherever it occurs, we would have significantly less emotional trauma. The possibility for people to thrive, connect, and flourish would emerge.” Dr. Jacqui Dyer, MBE Director, Black Thrive Global, UK
“To reframe the narrative requires us to move beyond the biomedical and recognize that mental health is our greatest, our single most valuable personal asset. It’s important to each and every one of us at every single moment of our lives. Our mental health is deeply intertwined in our personal stories and our social worlds…This means that when our mental health is adversely affected, our care must be guided by meeting us where we are and addressing the concerns that matter to us, not what matters to the system.” Dr. Vikram Patel Professor of Global Health, Harvard Medical School
“What resonates with me is the urgency of getting people care now. We need to make it easy. It’s really difficult for a family, for people to figure out how to navigate the system. It needs to be made easy. We need to figure out how to make it easy for individuals at any age to receive quality, evidence-based, culturally sensitive, culturally informed care anywhere in the world.” Dr. Pamela Collins Director of Global Mental Health, University of Washington
“I think it’s only really by speaking openly about suicide and self-harm that we’re going to be able to prevent it. It is critical that we find safe and compassionate and effective ways of having this conversation…We hear a lot from young people that they talk about these issues and they’re judged or their feelings are dismissed. That becomes really dangerous because then people don’t feel that they can talk about them openly when they do feel at risk or vulnerable…If you’re worried about somebody, you ask them carefully and sensitively but directly if they’re feeling suicidal. If they’ve got a suicide plan, do they intend to act on that plan? Don’t be afraid of having that conversation…Be willing to just sit and listen and not judge them. Hear their story. Don’t be afraid you’ve got to have all the answers and solve all the problems. Often for people it’s just about being heard and listened to and not judged.” Jo Robinson, PhD Head of Suicide Prevention Research at Orygen
“We have this incredible opportunity to braid the prevention, the storytelling, the early detection, the treatment, the community support, making sure that we are eliminating and reducing trauma and treating that early…Every one of us can see the need for that. Now is the time.” Dr. Nadine Burke Harris Surgeon General of California
We want to hear from you
What’s key for your mental health and well-being?
Tell us what’s important to you and what you think needs to be done to build compassionate communities that recognize and support mental health and well-being.
If you or someone you know needs help, please talk to someone. Access resources here.