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Lady Gaga, Prince William Join Forces to Combat Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness

( [email protected] ) Apr 18, 2017 02:49 PM EDT
Prince William and Lady Gaga have urged young people to talk openly about mental health issues so that others don't feel they are alone in their suffering.
Prince William and Lady Gaga open up to each other to combat taboo of mental health. YouTube

Prince William and Lady Gaga have urged young people to talk openly about mental health issues so that others don't feel alone in their suffering.

On Tuesday, the Royal Family's Facebook page posted a video of Prince William sharing a FaceTime chat with the pop star as part of a campaign to combat the stigma surrounding mental health problems. The campaign, Heads Together, is a charity set up by William, Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Kate.

Speaking to one another from their homes in London and Los Angeles, the unlikely duo discussed their own struggles with mental illness and encouraged others to do likewise.

"There is a lot of shame attached to mental illness, you feel like something is wrong with you," the "Born This Way" singer told William, admitting she has struggled with depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.

"I should be so happy, but you can't help it when in the morning you wake up, you are so tired, you are so sad, you are so full of anxiety and the shakes that you can't barely think," she told 34-year-old Prince William.

The singer, whose non-profit organization, the Born This Way Foundation, combats bullying, said it wasn't until she told herself, "this is a part of me, and that's OK," that she was able to deal with her feelings in a healthy manner.

In turn, William emphasized how important it can be for someone to speak up and said it's  time "to feel normal about mental health - it's the same as physical health."

"It's time that everyone speaks up," he told Lady Gaga. "Just having a conversation with a friend or family member can make such a difference."

The Royal Family Facebook page explains that William asked Lady Gaga to join forces following the open letter she released revealing she has lived with PTSD after she was sexually assaulted at 19 years old. William and Lady Gaga reportedly plan to continue working together, focusing on children and teens.

The Heads Together campaign aims to "Help people feel much more comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing and have the practical tools to support their friends and family," according to the organization website.

Recently, Prince Harry did an interview with The Telegraph, in which he revealed that after years of not dealing with the death of his mother, Princess Diana, he had sought counseling.

"I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well," he said. 

"I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle." 

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, approximately 20% of adolescents have a diagnosable mental health disorder, including depression, anxiety, and impulse control disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health found that in 2015, an estimated 3 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, and depression increases a teen's risk for attempting suicide by 12 times.

Tags : Lady Gaga, Prince William, Royal Family, mental health, depression, anxiety, Heads Together, Heads Together campaign