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Royals on tour: Harry and Meghan's low-key royal visit means 'today lives were saved'

Mission accomplished. Over a cuppa and cake in a quintessentially Kiwi cafe, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex pushed one…

Mission accomplished.

Over a cuppa and cake in a quintessentially Kiwi cafe, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex pushed one of the last taboos further into the global spotlight.

Mental health, specifically the need for people to feel comfortable talking about it and asking for help, was the focus of their visit to the Maranui Café – a jaunty Wellington institution above the surf lifesaving club in Lyall Bay.

There, Prince Harry and Meghan with three tables of young people from organisaties zoals Voices of Hope, Key to Life, Lifeline and the national 1

737 helpline service.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their meeting with representatives of mental health projects at Marenui Cafe in Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Their interest and Harry’s willingness to talk about his own battles will have had a significant and rapid impact, according to one guest.

“Today I guarantee that lives were saved,” said Jazz Thornton, co. -founder of Voices of Hope, a group promoting mental wellbeing, empowerment and recovery.

“Det betyder at folk begynner å realisere at mental helse ikke diskriminerer, at det ikke betyr noe om du er prinsen, eller Hvis du er en student eller om du er en mann eller en kvinne, har alle psykiske problemer, og alle kan lide med det. “

Mental health has been one of the Prince’s signature issues since he gave an extraordinarily frank interview to the UK Daily Telegraph last year.

Now 34, he revealed he sought counseling after two years of “total chaos” in his late 20s while still struggling with the aftermath of his mother’s death, Princess Diana.

Encouraged to ask for professional help by His brother, Prince William, Harry had reached a good place.

The brothers, and William’s wife Kate, now run Heads Together, an initiative aimed at tackling the stigma about mental health and raise money for new services. [19659002]

Photo / Mark Mitchell

He told the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games for wounded, sick or injured armed services personnel that mental wellbeing was more important than physical fitness because “without it, we can not survive, let alone thrive.”

No one at Maranui was in any doubt of the couple’s sincerity.

“They’re “Thornton.”

“Knowing they’re not just people who will say one thing on camera and then act a different way … what they present are who they are and I love that so much. “

While Harry drove the discussion, his wife expressed surprise when Thornton’s co-founder Genevieve Mora said some in New Zealand consider people who ask for help to be attention-seeking.

“Meghan was really shocked to hear that,” said Thornton.

Also shocking – that the Total number of suicides in New Zealand has risen four years in a row.

Lifeline clinical manager Renee Mathews, who was on the same table as the Voices of Hope duo, said the Prince did not make too much reference to the scale of the problem in New Zealand.

“But he did say he was talking to the PM about it yesterday, about how it’s a big issue now and it needs to be addressed so he’s obviously got some background knowledge.”

That her post-cabinet press conference today Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said mental health was among issues she discussed with the couple last night.

“I came away being even more certain that they are very, very genuine in their passion for this area and are very focused on it. “

Photo / Mark Mitchell

Ezekiel Raui, youth development director with the Key to Life Trust, was meeting the couple for the second time in Five months.

Flown to London as part of the Queen’s Youn g Leaders initiative, he saw them at Buckingham Palace in June.

Unfortunately, there was not enough cooperation in the mental health sector, Raui said, partly because the path to government funding pitted “genuine people against each other.” [19659002] But today’s meeting had highlighted the need for better communication.

“Based on my discussions with everyone’s attendees … we are not necessarily going to wait for a government organization or other organization to say this is what we are doing. Between the young people we’ve decided that we’re going to catch up and we’re going to make it happen. “

Raui was part of the third and final group to meet the royals.

Summing up, Harry backed Raui’s call for intergenerational change. He said there was no “silver bullet” to improve mental health “and I think people need to understand that.”

With that, the couple rose. There was time to pose for photos and receive some gifts.

From Lifeline a bag and baby outfit celebrating the organization’s 72 Club campaign – a twist on the so-called 27 Club, which reflects the large number of musicians who took their lives at that age. , a box containing a T-shirt and book about the building’s long history.

As they turned to leave, Meghan, by then wearing a badge promoting the 1737 helpline beside the poppy on her Club Monaco coat, addressed the group: You’re all doing really excellent work, “before starting a round of applause.

Then Harry placed his right hand affectionately on his wife’s shoulder and they were gone.

“In all honesty, I love the fact that the royals have engaged with us where we are most comfortable,” said Raui. “In een café waar de meeste conversaties beginnen en hun vermogen om ons te voelen, ik in het bijzonder, ik voel me alsof ik een individu ben en ik kan zeker zijn.”

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