Prince Harry has enlightened students of Lightway Academy in Abuja on the need to speak up about their mental health struggles.


The prince and Meghan Markle arrived in the capital city on Friday morning and began their day with a tour of Lightway Academy, a primary and secondary school in the capital city.

During their tour, the couple visited a kindergarten class where children aged up to five danced and sang.

At the school, the couple kicked off an inaugural mental health summit.


In a chat with the students, the 39-year-old Duke of Sussex spoke about the stigma surrounding mental health and how it is an issue of global concern.

Harry said so many people do not talk about mental health “cause it’s invisible. It’s something in our mind that we can’t see”.

The prince, however, assured that mental health is an issue that “affects every single person in the entire world”.


Harry also advised the students not to remain silent about it but to speak up, adding that “that is the only way that one can fight against it”.

“In some places around the world, more than you would believe, there is a stigma when it comes to mental health. Too many people do not want to talk about it because it is invisible, it is in our minds and we cannot see it. It is not like a broken leg or broken wrist, it is something we are still relatively unsure of,” he said.

“But guess what? Every single person in this room, youngest to the oldest, has mental health. So therefore, you have to look after yourself to be able to look after other people and other people have to be able to look after themselves to look after you. That is the way it works and there is no shame to be able to acknowledge that today is a bad day.

“That you woke up this morning feeling sad, that you left school feeling stressed, that you have lost a loved in your family and you do not know who to turn to or who to speak to. All of these things you may have been led to believe, are not for conversation. We are here to tell you today that it is not the case. Every single one of those things is completely normal, it is a human reaction.


“Whether it is grief, stress, whatever the feeling is, it comes from experience that you have had. Every single one of us is likely to have it on any given day. So if you take anything away from today, just know that mental health affects every single person in the entire world and the more you talk about it, the more you kick the stigma far far away into the long grass.

“Then everybody would have the opportunity to share how they are feeling, how they are coping and you can help other people because of the experience you have been through yourself.”

Meghan also encouraged the schoolchildren to share their stories, adding that: “I believe in you”.

The couple’s visit to Nigeria is to champion mental health for young people affected by conflicts and to promote the Invictus Games, which the prince founded to aid the rehabilitation of wounded and sick service members and veterans.


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