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Oprah Winfrey speaks on stage during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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Health

Oprah and Prince Harry Are Teaming Up for a New Mental Health TV Series


Why Global Citizens Should Care 
Promoting mental health and well-being are an essential part of the UN Global Goals, particularly Goal 3, which works to ensure good health and well-being for everyone. Awareness of mental health issues, and breaking the stigma around them globally, are essential in this effort. Join the movement by taking action here in support of the Global Goals. 

Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey are joining forces to create a new documentary series looking at mental health and well-being. 

The pair will be co-creators and executive producers of the series, according to an announcement on Wednesday from Kensington Palace via Harry and Meghan’s new Instagram account, SussexRoyal

The multi-part series is due to be broadcast next year on the recently announced US streaming service, Apple TV+, which will launch this autumn. It’s not yet known, however, how viewers in the UK will be able to watch. 

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According to the statement, the show will “focus on both mental illness and mental wellness, inspiring viewers to have an honest conversation about the challenges each of us faces, and how to equip ourselves with the tools to not simply survive, but to thrive.” 

The palace said the series would build on the Duke of Sussex’s extensive work on mental health. 

We are excited to announce that The Duke of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey are partners, co-creators and executive producers on their forthcoming mental health series launching on Apple in 2020. The pair have been developing the series for several months and are looking forward to sharing such an important project on this global platform. The dynamic multi-part documentary series will focus on both mental illness and mental wellness, inspiring viewers to have an honest conversation about the challenges each of us faces, and how to equip ourselves with the tools to not simply survive, but to thrive. This commitment builds on The Duke of Sussex’s long-standing work on issues and initiatives regarding mental health, where he has candidly shared personal experience and advocated for those who silently suffer, empowering them to get the help and support they deserve. His Royal Highness has spent many years working with communities throughout the UK and young people across the Commonwealth to break the stigma surrounding mental illness and broaden the conversation of mental wellness to accelerate change for a more compassionate, connected and positive society. Quote from HRH: “I truly believe that good mental health - mental fitness - is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities and a purpose-driven self. It is a huge responsibility to get this right as we bring you the facts, the science and the awareness of a subject that is so relevant during these times. Our hope is that this series will be positive, enlightening and inclusive - sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places, and the opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better. I am incredibly proud to be working alongside Oprah on this vital series.”

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

Harry has previously spoken out about the “quite serious effect” the death of his mother, Princess Diana, had on his life, and said that he has “probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions.” 

“I truly believe that good mental health — mental fitness — is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities, and a purpose-driven self,” said Harry, in a statement about the documentary. 

He also revealed that he feels the “huge responsibility to get this right as we bring you the facts, the science, and the awareness of a subject that is so relevant during these times.”

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“Our hope is that this series will be positive, enlightening, and inclusive — sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places, and the opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better,” he said.

Harry has previously been very involved in raising awareness and advocating around the issue of mental health. 

In 2016, the Royal Foundation — the main philanthropic and charitable vehicle for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — launched the Heads Together initiative, to tackle stigma and change the conversation around mental health. 

“His Royal Highness has spent many years working with communities throughout the UK and young people across the Commonwealth to break the stigma surrounding mental illness and broaden the conversation of mental wellness to accelerate change for a more compassionate, connected, and positive society,” the palace statement added. 

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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14 — but most cases go undetected and untreated. 

“Fortunately, there is a growing recognition of the importance of helping young people build mental resilience, from the earliest ages, in order to cope with the challenges of today’s world,” it adds. 

“Evidence is growing that promoting and protecting adolescent health brings benefits not just to adolescents’ health, both in the short- and the long-term, but also to economies and society, with healthy young adults able to make greater contributions to the workforce, their families, and communities and society as a whole,” it says. 

The WHO also adds that specific focus and investment should be given to programmes that work to “raise awareness among adolescents and young adults of ways to look after their mental health and to help peers, parents, and teachers know how to support their friends, children, and students.”