Prince William on His Own Mental Health: 'I Still Find It Very Difficult to Talk About It'
Prince William is continuing to talk honestly about mental health.
The 36-year-old royal took part in a panel discussion on the cause close to his heart on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to highlight his belief that the world’s major employers have a vital role to play in promoting healthy communities and workplaces.
“I think now, there’s a generation finally realizing that this is not normal, we should talk about it, we should get over [the stigma],” he said.
He added, “We’ve got to start tackling it now so that our children and grandchildren don’t have to go through this process, and they can be a lot more open about it.”
William, who worked as an air ambulance pilot, also opened up about how a particular incident at work really shook him.
“I still find it very difficult to talk about it,” the father of three said. “I get very emotional about it because it relates very closely to my children and so it is very hard to talk about it.”
"I still find it very difficult to talk about it." — The Duke of Cambridge on the importance of talking #MentalHealth, and his own experience working as an Air Ambulance Pilot #WEF19 pic.twitter.com/2nimIAqwiQ— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 23, 2019
The royal explained that many workers in the medical community are haunted by tragedies that they experience on a regular basis.
In his case, William felt that “the most important thing was understanding and realizing it was there.”
“I think if I hadn’t been doing what I was doing, I might have gone into my shell a bit and gone, ‘I can deal with this myself.’ Then potentially, down the line, it manifests itself in a much worse situation,” he shared.
William added, “I know that if I hadn’t taken the action that I did then, I would have definitely gone down a slippery slope and I would have been dealing with mental illness on a different level.”
William shared previously that when he and Kate welcomed children of their own, 5-year-old Prince George and 3-year-old Princess Charlotte (later joined by 9-month-old Prince Louis), some of his “traumatic” jobs that involved kids injured in car accidents took a toll on him.
“The relation between the job and the personal life was what really took me over the edge. And I started feeling things that I’ve never felt before. And I got very sad and very down about this particular family,” he said at the first This Can Happen conference in London this November. “You start to take away bits of the job and keep them in your body. And of course, you don’t want to share with your loved ones because you just don’t want to bring that sort of stuff home.”
He continued, “So the only place you can talk about it is at work and if you don’t necessarily have the right tools or the right environment at work, you can see why things can snowball and get quite bad.”
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On Tuesday, Prince William sat down with Sir David Attenborough at the World Economic Forum to discuss 92-year-old English broadcaster and natural historian’s work highlighting the importance of the natural world and the urgent challenges that will face the next generation of environmental leaders.
At the start of the interview, William said: “It’s a personal treat for me to be sitting asking you the questions. It’s nice to turn the tables for once.”