Content warning: This article contains mentions of mental illness and suicide that may be upsetting to some readers.
Prince Harry has appeared to criticise British attitudes towards mental health in a raw new podcast appearance, where he opened up about seeking therapy in the US as opposed to the UK.
Speaking on the Masters of Scale podcast, the Duke of Sussex touched on the different approaches to mental wellness while discussing mental health app BetterUp, where he serves as chief impact officer.
“You talk about it here in California, ‘I’ll get my therapist to call your therapist’,” he claimed.
“Whereas in the UK it’s like, ‘Therapist? What therapist? Whose therapist? I don’t have a therapist. No, I definitely don’t, I’ve never spoken to a therapist’.”
Harry added that approaches to seeking mental health support are “very different” in different parts of the world, adding that the “cultural differences” between the UK and US are “immense”.
“And I think the more that we can talk about it, the more we understand it. The more we understand it, well, the more we understand each other,” he said.
Some critics have taken Harry’s comments as a veiled jab at the royal family’s approach to mental health after he and wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex claimed she was offered no support from the monarchy while experiencing suicidal thoughts.
However, senior royals including Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge have spearheaded mental health initiatives in the UK for years and have been open about seeking support for their own struggles in the past.
While in their roles as senior royals, Harry and Meghan also led campaigns promoting mental health in the UK, with Harry being vocal about the importance of speaking up.
WATCH: Catherine and William make a special appearance for a mental health campaign. Story continues after video.
The 37-year-old previously shared his experiences with seeking therapy after meeting Meghan, who encouraged him to get help in the UK and now, it seems, in their new Californian home.
After losing his mother, Princess Diana, in a tragic car crash in 1997, Harry struggled with the trauma of her death and the pressures of royal life into his 20s and 30s.
In his Apple TV+ documentary series with Oprah Winfrey, the royal confessed he turned to drugs and alcohol to combat his anxiety and make him “feel less like [he] was feeling”.
Touching on his own experiences with loss and grief in his latest podcast appearance, Harry said that even though individuals may forget the traumas as they age, “the body holds the score”.
“Just as much as there’s a mental health aspect to it, there’s also the emotional aspect to it as well,” he added, a philosophy that drives his advocacy work with BetterUp.
The Duke of Sussex hopes to change the conversation around mental health, shifting attitudes to encourage “mental fitness” through support, awareness and more.
He pointed to the Invictus Games as a great example of how emotional healing can make a huge difference in a person’s life even when affected by physical and other ailments.
The annual event sees injured service men and women compete on the world stage in an incredible initiative Harry established in 2014.
If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14.