Prince William speaks with Lady Gaga on mental health

Prince William speaks with Lady Gaga on mental health

LONDON — Prince William has enlisted Lady Gaga in his campaign to persuade people to be more open about mental health issues.

The heir to the throne released a video Tuesday in which he speaks with the pop star via FaceTime. Lady Gaga, who last year spoke out about her struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, places the call from her kitchen in California, and William answers at his desk in Kensington Palace.

“It’s interesting to see and hear from you how much having that conversation has really made a difference to you,” William said in the video. “It’s so important to break open that fear and that taboo which is only going to lead to more problems down the line.”

The conversation is part of the latest blitz by the young royals as they campaign to end the stigma associated with mental health issues. William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, along with his brother, Prince Harry, have made mental health a focus of their charitable work.

It comes a day after the Daily Telegraph published an unusually candid interview with Harry. The 32-year-old prince acknowledged that he spent nearly 20 years “not thinking” about the death of his mother, Princess Diana, and that he only got help after two years of “total chaos.”

Though the Royal Family has toiled for years for hundreds of charities, the work on mental health represents something of a departure — in part because of the taboo long associated with psychological issues. It can be seen as an extension of the work of Diana, who among other things shook the hand of an HIV-positive man during the height of the Aids crisis.

“She created the new template, the new orthodoxy,” said Ellis Cashmore, a visiting professor of sociology at Aston University and the author of “Elizabeth Taylor: A Private Life for Public Consumption.”

“She was rewriting the script of the royals for the future.”

Mental health charities are flatly thrilled. Comments from the royals gain immediate attention — particularly when they offer tantalizing revelations about their private lives. But mostly the comments show that it is normal to seek assistance when going through tough times.

The Campaign Against Living Miserably, or CALM, said research shows that men particularly have trouble telling others when they feel depressed.

“Prince Harry sharing how he needed support to cope with losing his mother shows both how normal it is to go through a tough time and how much opening up can help,” CEO Simon Gunning said in an email.

“Hearing public figures say they’ve felt better after opening up can help chip away at feelings of embarrassment, meaning more guys will seek support when they need it.”

Lady Gaga brings even more attention to the cause. She told Prince William in the video that talking more openly about mental health would let people feel like “we are not hiding anymore.”

“Even though it was hard, the best thing that could come out of my mental illness was to share it with other people and let our generation, as well as other generations, know that if you are feeling not well in your mind that you’re not alone and that people that you think would never have a problem, do,” she said.

William also applauded grime musician Stormzy for talking about his battle with depression in the publication CALMzine.

“There may be a time and a place for the ‘stiff upper lip’, but not at the expense of your health,” William said in CALMzine.

Danica Kirka, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Opioids, meth, firearms seized at known Chilliwack drug house

Home on Broadway Street raided on Feb. 15 where homicide occurred Jan. 31

GW Graham basketball girls savour Fraser Valley championship

It’s been a long wait for the Grizzlies, who lost the FV title game the last two seasons.

Chilliwack Curling Club holding open house

If you’ve ever wanted to try the sport, the club invites you to take the plunge this weekend.

Chilliwack MLA John Martin says NDP budget will hurt business, punish taxpayers

‘Family-owned businesses will struggle to respond to this’

Chilliwack-Kent MLA decries ‘classic, big tax-and-spend’ NDP budget

Laurie Throness says budget relies on strong economy but contains no ideas to help it grow

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

Team USA beats Canada 3-2 on the shootout to take home Olympic gold

Americans win their first gold medal since 1998

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

BC BUDGET: New money helps seniors’ care shortage

Job stability for care aides key to recruitment, union leader says

Mixed messages on B.C.’s efforts to cool hot housing market

Economist says undersupply of homes in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna will keep prices high

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

Coroner says no foul play suspected in death of 79-year-old Stanley Okumoto

Most Read