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Prince Harry urges young people to put down their mobile phones and warns they affect mental health
United Kingdom Created: 30 Aug 2017
Young people should try to take a break from checking their mobile phones to “process their thoughts” instead of rushing through the day, Prince Harry has suggested.

Prince Harry, who has spent the year campaigning on mental health issues, said more still needed to be done to equip young people to deal with the modern world.

Citing statistics about the number of times young people check their mobile phones, he argued everyone would be “more effective and efficient” if they took more time to simply think.

Prince Harry spoke in Leeds at a panel event entitled “Encouraging Happy Young Minds”.

It follows months of tireless campaigning for Heads Together, the charity set up by the Prince and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to raise awareness about mental health issues.

In a speech, he said: “I cannot tell you how pleased William, Catherine and I are that the dial seems to have shifted and that there is now greater understanding, compassion and kindness for anyone who opens up about their struggles.

“But let's not kid ourselves that the job is done - there is much much more that we can do at every level to make conversations about mental health as commonplace as those about physical health.

“For example, we need to better equip our young people with the tools they need to cope with this increasingly complex and fast moving world we live in.

“I read recently that young people check their phones at least 150 times per day – I'm sure we could all be more effective and efficient if we took a moment to process our thoughts rather than rushing from one thing to the next.”

Prince Harry added that since the London Marathon, which had Heads Together as its official charity, he had spoken to many people who now felt able to confide in friends and family about their feelings.

"On average, it takes someone who is struggling with their mental health about ten years to admit they have a problem," he said.

"What this means is that, something which may start as a minor issue will spiral downwards over time to become a serious and persistent problem, perhaps even requiring professional help."

So many stories he had heard, he said, "could have been very different if awareness was better and help had been sought sooner".

Prince Harry added that since the London Marathon, which had Heads Together as its official charity, he had spoken to many people who now felt able to confide in friends and family about their feelings.

"On average, it takes someone who is struggling with their mental health about ten years to admit they have a problem," he said.

"What this means is that, something which may start as a minor issue will spiral downwards over time to become a serious and persistent problem, perhaps even requiring professional help."

So many stories he had heard, he said, "could have been very different if awareness was better and help had been sought sooner".



If reports are to be believed, Prince Harry has found common ground with the Queen on the subject of young people and technology.

At a garden party last year, Barbara Wilkins, 82, who received the British Empire Medal in the New Year's Honours for services to education, said she had discussed how modern children are "all digital these days".

"She agreed," Mrs Wilkins said then. "She said her grandchildren did things for her digitally but she didn't like them to be on their phones and computers all the time. She says they need social skills. She was like any other grandmother really."

Later in the day, the Prince, who is patron of the Rugby Football League, spent time at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, the home of Leeds Rhinos, along with players, schoolchildren and mascot Ronnie the Rhino.
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Source: Telegraph, Hannah Furness, 06 Jul 2017

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