Prince Harry attended the Virgin Money Giving Mind Media Awards 2017 yesterday, November 13, where he gave a speech praising this year’s conversation surrounding mental health.
Harry presented the Speaking Out Award to the 10 runners who participated in the BBC documentary ‘Mind Over Marathon’. Before handing out the medals, Harry gave a speech:
“I wanted to come here tonight to say thank you. At the beginning of the year, William, Catherine, and I believed that the country was on the cusp of something special. We noticed that after decades of hard work from dedicated campaigners, people seemed ready for a different kind of conversation on mental health. Everyone was tired of stigma and scare stories around mental illness. And they were frustrated that it was always being written up in a negative way. They saw that their children were emotionally open in new ways that seemed positive and empowering. Finally, we were all beginning to grasp that mental fitness was an issue worth talking about for every one of us. They were ready for a truly national conversation on mental health. And with the help of people in this room, that is exactly what we have had.
“In classrooms, in workplaces, around the dinner table, between friends, and even between strangers, people are now really talking about their own wellbeing and how to help those around them. And while just talking doesn’t cure all ills, we are now shattering the silence that was a real barrier to progress. We are grateful that so many in the media got behind the Heads Together campaign – you helped make it the success that it has been. But the biggest thanks has to go to the British public. You embraced it, you engaged with it, and you normalized it. I’m sure millions of you were surprised by how many people around you had suffered without you knowing, and at the same time what a relief it was that you were now able to share your own hardships and experiences. Whether you were the talker or the listener, we have all learned a great deal about ourselves, and become better people for it.
“The nominees here tonight have told incredible stories of courage, challenge, and triumph throughout an extraordinary year of mental health journalism. Thank you so much for your work and dedication. But I would especially like to thank the people who were brave enough to share their personal stories with the public. There are so many people who have talked openly this year that Mind couldn’t select one to receive the Speaking Out award, so instead they have taken the exceptional decision to award it to ten. The runners who took part in the BBC’s documentary ‘Mind Over Marathon’ did not just open up about their experiences, they trained to take part in the greatest marathon in the world. They overcame their own fears and challenges, and in the process, inspired every single one of us.”
[Transcript of the video below – Harry’s speech begins at 53:30]
When the winners walked onto the stage, Harry gave each one a hug before helping to hand out the medals.
I quite appreciate that Harry acknowledges that people have been working for years to create the right national, and international, headspace to accept a campaign like Heads Together, and how, for the most part, the success of Heads Together is because the campaign came at the right time in a social climate that was already ready to have the mental health conversation.
I also appreciate that Harry acknowledges that just talking doesn’t cure all ills, because this is something we’ve been discussing for a year. Thanking the media for getting behind the Heads Together campaign was a good thing, too. Overall, this was a great awards speech.
In terms of presentation and delivery of the speech: I harp on Kate all the time for looking at her notes too much when giving a speech, but Harry needs to stop reading off his paper, too. He doesn’t bob his head as much as Kate does, but he reads straight from the paper and clearly hasn’t memorized the speech.
For fashion: Harry wore a navy suit with a light blue tie and a white shirt. He accessorized with some bracelets on his right wrist.