Meghan and Prince Harry took part in the popular Teenage Therapy podcast to mark World Mental Health Day. While discussing how COVID-19 has had an impact on the world and brought people experiencing mental health issues closer to one another in their experiences, Meghan spoke about the impact the online world can have on real life.
Highlighting how most people have started spending more time online than outside following the coronavirus outbreak and the following lockdown, the Duchess said: “Not just for a younger age range but for everyone, especially for your point during COVID, if you are not in school then you are finding yourself on your devices or online more, right?
“And there is a lot of vulnerability there that I think so many people are experiencing.
“Yes, it’s a great way to connect but it also ends up being a place where there is a lot of disconnection.”
Meghan went on explaining she had become the target of trolls in 2019.
Opening up on the impact online hate can have on people, the Duchess continued: “I can speak personally too, I am told that in 2019 I was the most trolled person in the entire world – male or female.
“Now, eight months of that I wasn’t even visible, I was on maternity leave with the baby.
“But what was able to be manufactured and churned out it’s almost unsurvivable, it’s so big you can’t even think what that feels like.
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“I don’t care if you are 15 or 25, if people are saying things about you that aren’t true, what that does to your mental and emotional health it’s so damaging.
“So from my standpoint and for the work that we do is that from my personal experience and be able to talk to people and understand that even though our experience is unique to us and obviously can seem very different from what people can experience from day to day, it’s still a human experience and that’s universal.
“We all know what it feels like to have our feelings hurt, we all know what it feels like to be isolated, and I think that’s why the work you guys are doing here it’s so important.”
Meghan and Prince Harry recorded this 30-minute long chat with the the hosts of the podcast earlier this week at their home in Santa Barbara.
A shot taken during the recording shows the teenagers sitting on a couch opposite to the Sussexes.
All those attending this special meeting were wearing face coverings.
The podcast usually features five students from Loara High School in Anaheim, Orange County.
During their episodes, these teens candidly open up about mental health, touching upon a range of topics including family, death, sexuality and school.
Meghan and Harry said they first heard about this podcast after reading the profile of its young host in a New York Times article.
This podcast fits in with Prince Harry’s long-standing pledge to end the stigma surrounding mental health.
The Duke of Sussex, who bravely opened up on his own mental wellbeing three years ago, on the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, has worked alongside Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William on a range of initiatives to promote conversations on mental health.
In 2016, the trio launched Heads Together.
After the Duchess of Sussex joined the Royal Foundation, the four royals worked together on a 24/7 helpline called Shout.
Meghan and Harry are now likely to continue this work focused on mental wellbeing through their yet-to-launch organisation, the Archewell Foundation.