Prince Harry gave an emotional speech about mental health at the Salute to Freedom Gala in NYC Wednesday. In his speech, the Duke of Sussex emphasized the importance of addressing “invisible wounds” as he urged his audience to aspire to be mentally fit.Prince Harry, who graced the event with his wife Meghan Markle to present the 2021 Intrepid Valor Awards, told the audience about how service members should pay attention to the type of pain other people don’t see.
“I’d also like to speak briefly about something else that, until recently, has existed in the darkness: the invisible wounds that we are all susceptible to,” he said.“The scars on the inside that no one sees. For too long, invisible injuries were treated as just that—invisible—and were destined to be swept under the rug at the risk of shame, guilt, or just a lack of understanding. Yet we now know that the mind is just like a muscle. It experiences trauma and pain, whether in conflict or at home, whether in uniform or not,” he added.
He explained that just as the body needs physical training, the mind also needs as much recovery and care, “no matter who you are and no matter what you do.” “Our physical health and mental health are one and the same, and just as much as we aspire to be physically fit, so too we need to be mentally fit,” he explained.
He said that was the reason he established HeadFIT, a program that centers on the mental wellbeing of military members. He also said it is normal for years of a mission-driven lifestyle to leave individuals longing for “self-purpose, focus, service to others and being part of a team” when they return home. Reminiscing about his years as a military man, Prince Harry said, “My experience in the military made me who I am today, and I will always be grateful for the people I got to serve with—wherever in the world we were.”
Prince Harry was a former Captain in the British Army and served on two tours of duty in Afghanistan before retiring in 2015.