SINGAPORE: It may be difficult to open up about one's mental health, but Prince Harry is urging young Singaporeans to speak up about it "to be happy and healthy for the rest of your life".
Britain's prince, who was in town for a two-day visit, sat down with six young Singaporeans to throw a light on this issue.
"Mental health, for some reason, people go 'eurgh'," said Prince Harry, but "you have to talk about your mental health in order to be mentally fit".
"I don't know if the older generation would agree with us but I think with social media, the Internet, and everything else, a lot of false realities are thrown down young people's throats," he added.
The six Singaporeans, who are Peer Support Specialists, previously suffered from mental health issues but have now recovered and are supporting others. They work under the Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT) as youth mentors, aiming to remove the stigma of seeking help and improve young people's access to support, said the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on Tuesday (Jun 6).
The topic of mental health is something Prince Harry has been keen on advocating. Earlier this year, the prince, together with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, launched the Heads Together campaign to end the stigma around mental health.
In a video released in April, Prince Harry spoke about his desire to help other families after feeling the impact of losing his mother, the late Princess Diana, at a young age.
"When you speak to other people's families and little kids and stuff, you think: 'I don't want them to have to go through the same things' ... With a little bit of experience, you want to help as much as you can and try and empower them to have that conversation, to be brave enough for themselves to talk about it at a young age, rather than bottling it up for far too long," he said.
When speaking with the Peer Support Specialists in Singapore, Prince Harry also touched on the importance of hobbies, or healthy ways to cope - such as dance or music. He encouraged them to play their part in empowering others to speak up.
"If you can just help one person not have to go through what you went through, and suffer in silence, then you've saved a life," he said.