Of course they cannot discuss the NHS and I think Harry was right in answering that they should not go into political discussions (at least not now) but the rest was a cheap excuse and I guess that's why he suddenly didn't sound very confident anymore. Not thinking of the consequences if this campaign has even just average success is very bad planning and makes them looks shallow and their office as unprepared as always IMO. It's a nice idea but not thought through and I fear it will be more damaging in the end than it will help. And his "things will change, I'm sure" is ignorant at best.
It's also a strange decision to not use this attention to get donations or other kinds of support for the various charities via HT. It's a great opportunity missed because the only brand constantly in the media is HT. Other charities are barely mentioned and if they are, they cannot handle what follows. Harry even encouraged the runners to wear the headband no matter what charity they run for. How is this helping anyone but the trio's PR and their Diana memory year?
@rosella and identitycrisis: Thanks for the info. That was the one I thought of. It's so very sad. I don't know if in his case it's "just" about the one hospital but judging by a lot of recent stories this seems to be a general problem.
@Antevorta: It's amazing that they could do it so wrong with the experts they could call and the decades of experience of their family.
Sadly you are right. It does seem that they start something and then there's nothing beyond it with life-changing substance to help others. While getting someone to counseling is important, but as pointed out by other posters, there are deeper underlying issues with the mental health system in the UK that needs to be addressed. Perhaps by shining a spotlight on the issue of mental health it will help to bring out into the open what is wrong with the system. One of the things that I admire about Charles is that he isn't afraid to get political if he thinks it will help people. I'm not criticizing Harry for side-stepping because we don't know what's going on behind the scenes as far as the politics is concerned. But, this organization could shine a very bright light on the problems in order to get them corrected without being political. Diana did this with Aids and raised a lot of money so people could get treatments. IMO they need to take pages from both parents in order to really facilitate change. This is however, a very good and important step for mental health, now if they can only follow through. I hope Harry will as he has with the Invictus games. JMO
I think this very issue highlights the limits you face when having royals as your figureheads and spokesmen. If the spokesmen interviewed by Hunt had been someone other than a royal, he could have gone on to talk about political issues. As it is, Harry skirted it, as he had to. Perhaps there was a way he could have addressed the issue without being party political though. Australia has it's very successful beyondblue
, which was established in October 2000. beyondblue "initially focused on raising awareness of depression and reducing the associated stigma. As our knowledge and impact on people's lives broadened, through research and community engagement, we added the key issue of anxiety conditions in 2011 and, more recently, suicide prevention to our core purpose." beyondblue works with all tiers of government and the health sector, corporate and community partners, and with the media. Since its inception is has been headed by former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett, and from July this year it will be headed by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. In a recent press release, Beyond Blue said:
"beyondblue’s work is motivated by something bigger than politics; it’s about a bipartisan commitment to enhancing the welfare of others and that is an extraordinarily powerful force.
“Nobody owns beyondblue. It is owned by the community, in particular those living with mental health conditions, their families, friends and colleagues.”
Perhaps a speaker more skilled than Harry, or even Harry himself with the right coaching - I doubt William or Kate will ever be able to handle something as profound as this - could have said something similar without offending the "no politics" rule.
While I applaud the Wales boys and Kate for taking on this important cause, I think they might not have done as much research about the subject as they could, and that their role is bound to be a limited one. They might well be working in conjunction with other charities and organisations with similar interests, and some which can take the step into the political arena that they, themselves, cannot. But I think they ought to mention those other bodies and let them handle the sticky stuff that their gentle royal hands aren't allowed to touch. As it is, what Harry is saying is that we want to get people talking about these issues and seeking help, but we are then going to leave them floundering because we can't do anything about what needs to happen next to actually get them help.
The independent Mental Health Taskforce to the NHS in England published a Five Year Forward View for Mental Health in February 2016. https://www.england.nhs.u...-Taskforce-FYFV-final.pdf
Perhaps the Wales trio is aware of that report, and perhaps this campaign is intended to encourage the introduction of the recommendations made by the taskforce. But being prohibited from making political comments, they can't mention that. Some of their associated charities should be able to talk about it though. Maybe they are, but the emphasis at the moment seems to be on these three.
Incidentally it seems that the UK had an Early Access program (UK Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)) designed to get early treatment for people with mild to moderate depression and anxiety, and apparently that was very successful. beyondblue took up that program and something similar was put in place in Australia. I don't know what happened to IAPT in the UK. Maybe it was dumped because of expense. Maybe it's still working and we're just not being told about it.
I get the feeling this is a flavour of the month thing for these three, and that they'll move on to something else before long. Or they are just not getting the right PR advice, or advice generally.