Britain’s Prince Harry is teaming up with Oprah Winfrey on a new television series tackling today’s global issues around mental health.
The multi-part documentary series, which will air on the Apple TV platform in 2020, will be co-created and produced by the Duke of Sussex and Winfrey.
Harry, 34, has championed mental health issues since opening up on the “quite serious effect” his mother’s death had on his life. He also admitted at times it was “total chaos” and that he had “probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions” while speaking to journalist Bryony Gordon for a podcast for the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper in April.
The British Royal said he was “incredibly proud” to be collaborating with Oprah on the “vital” series.
The main goal of the duo’s partnership is to have an “honest conversation about the challenges each of us faces,” according to a statement from Kensington Palace.
“I truly believe that good mental health — mental fitness — is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities and a purpose-driven self,” Harry said.
The public statement added that the project will attempt to equip people “with the tools to not simply survive, but to thrive.”
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We are excited to announce that The Duke of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey are partners, co-creators and executive producers on their forthcoming mental health series launching on Apple in 2020. The pair have been developing the series for several months and are looking forward to sharing such an important project on this global platform. The dynamic multi-part documentary series will focus on both mental illness and mental wellness, inspiring viewers to have an honest conversation about the challenges each of us faces, and how to equip ourselves with the tools to not simply survive, but to thrive. This commitment builds on The Duke of Sussex’s long-standing work on issues and initiatives regarding mental health, where he has candidly shared personal experience and advocated for those who silently suffer, empowering them to get the help and support they deserve. His Royal Highness has spent many years working with communities throughout the UK and young people across the Commonwealth to break the stigma surrounding mental illness and broaden the conversation of mental wellness to accelerate change for a more compassionate, connected and positive society. Quote from HRH: “I truly believe that good mental health – mental fitness – is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities and a purpose-driven self. It is a huge responsibility to get this right as we bring you the facts, the science and the awareness of a subject that is so relevant during these times. Our hope is that this series will be positive, enlightening and inclusive – sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places, and the opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better. I am incredibly proud to be working alongside Oprah on this vital series.”
Harry & Oprah Have High Hopes!
“Our hope is that it will have an impact on reducing the stigma and allowing people to know that they are not alone, allowing people to speak up about it and being able to identify it for themselves and in their friends,” Winfrey said.
Winfrey told “CBS This Morning” that their initial collaboration began when she was having a conversation with the prince and had asked him what the most important issues facing the world were.
“He said there were two,” she said. “He said climate change and he said mental wellness, mental fitness, mental health.”
The TV series will build on Harry’s longstanding commitment to tackling mental health issues and raising awareness of mental illness.
He launched the “Heads Together” mental health campaign in 2017 alongside his brother, Prince William.
“We’ve had several meetings. We’ve had secret meetings in London. I’ve flown there with the crew, sitting in sessions talking about the directions we’re going to take. Our hope is that it will have an impact on reducing the stigma and allowing people to know they are not alone,” Winfrey told the US network.
Oprah Winfrey’s interest in mental health is also personal; a few years ago, in a February 2016 issue of her Omagazine, she admitted to having experienced anxiety and depression, and wrote that “in recent years I’ve come face-to-face with mental illness, as several people close to me were hospitalized with severe suicidal depression and manic and schizophrenic thoughts.”
We are excited to see two of the most powerful individuals in today’s world come together over such a positive cause.
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