Prince Harry Gave Some Solid Mental Health Advice In An "Anti-Bad Vibes Circle"

Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images.
Prince Harry is no stranger to talking about mental health or being candid about his own emotional struggles, and after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's recent trip to Australia, it's clear that mental health will continue to be an important topic for the couple.
When they visited Bondi Beach in Australia, Prince Harry and Meghan participated in an "anti-bad vibes circle" with OneWave, a local surfing community dedicated to raising awareness for mental health. The prince and his wife sat in a circle on the beach with OneWave surfers, participated in a group hug, and shared stories. "He showed us that actually opening up and talking about your emotions is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness,” OneWave member Sam Schumacher told PEOPLE. "And the sooner you can do that, it actually helps you so much. That was the thing that helped him so much."
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Prince Harry seems to be giving this advice from experience. The prince has previously spoken about how he spent more than a decade avoiding talk about his mother's death, and he now regrets keeping his feelings bottled up. Although Princess Diana died when Prince Harry was 12, the prince didn't talk about her death until he was 28. He's previously spoken about how hard it was trying to cope with his grief on his own. "When she died, there was a gaping hole, not just for us but also for a huge amount of people across the world," Prince Harry said at a Kensington Palace barbecue in 2016. "It's okay to suffer as long as you talk about it. It's not weakness. Weakness is having a problem and not recognizing it."
The prince said at the barbecue that he regrets not talking about Princess Diana, and now he's doing his best to help others see that talking about your feelings is important — and so is finding the right person to talk to. He told surfers at Bondi Beach that it took him 18 months to find the right person to talk to when he started opening up. "You’re not going to find the right person to speak to straight away," Prince Harry said, one member of the anti-bad vibe circle, Charlotte Connell, told The Guardian.
There's no question that it's solid advice to talk through your grief or anger or any other emotional struggle you may be going through. But Prince Harry's other advice, to make sure you find the right person to talk to, is also sound. "If you feel something is off with your connection [with your therapist], don’t hesitate to 'shop around' and try out another therapist until you feel you can be completely open and honest," Aarti Gupta, PsyD, clinical director at TherapyNest, previously told Refinery29. The therapist-patient relationship is more important than other kinds of doctor-patient relationships, because you have to feel comfortable enough to talk about your feelings. If you don't feel that you can open up to the first therapist — or even the 10th — try to find a new one.
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