Prince Harry joined the co-founder of mental health and coaching firm BetterUp – Alexi Robichaux – in the Masters of Scale podcast, hosted by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. The Duke of Sussex said the body “doesn’t forget” the trauma or grief experienced in the past in the same way the brain can.
And, expressing how common it is for human beings to experience forms of loss and trauma, he made a thinly-veiled reference to the deep grief he experienced following the death of Princess Diana when he was just a child.
Harry said during the podcast: “99.9 percent of people on planet Earth are suffering from some form of loss, trauma or grief.
“It doesn’t matter what age you are, but the majority of us have experienced a lot of that in our younger years, therefore we’ve forgotten about it.
“Now, the body doesn’t forget, the body holds the score as we know.
“And, therefore, just as much as there’s a mental health aspect to it, there’s also the emotional aspect to it as well.
“And I think the more we can talk about it, the more we can understand it.
“The more we understand it, the more we understand each other.”
Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, when Harry was just a few weeks away from turning 13.
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The Duke and his brother Prince William famously walked behind the coffin of their mother alongside Prince Charles, Prince Philip and their uncle Charles Spencer, while millions of people were watching the funeral in person or via broadcast.
In an interview released in 2017 to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of the Princess of Wales, Prince Harry said no child should be asked to do what he and his brother did on that occasion.
He told Newsweek: “My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television.
“I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”
During the latest podcast he appeared on, Prince Harry also discussed his role as Chief Impact Officer at BetterUp, a company he joined in early 2021.
He said: “The Chief Impact Officer role at BetterUp for me is 100 percent about driving advocacy and awareness on mental fitness.”
Speaking with Mr Hoffman, the royal also recalled how he got to know the company – co-founded by Mr Robichaux and Eduardo Medina – and became attracted to the idea of being part of it.
He said: “Through a few new contacts and a couple of people in the US they made me aware of BetterUp.
“It was on a Zoom [meeting] with Eddie and Alexi and I heard their vision and I was, ‘Wow, you guys are doing this, and not only you are doing it, you have been doing it for a few years and you are already at scale’.
“This is really exciting because what we want to be able to do is to turn the conversation from mental health, which is so much focused on mental illness, and change the whole dialogue, the whole conversation and make it more about mental fitness, and I think that’s where we are heading now.”
Mental fitness, the Duke added, is “more a case of getting on the front foot” and being proactive in order to prevent burnout or a mental breakdown.
He said: “Rather than looking at going, ‘Yeah, exactly that, every single day I’m trying to survive’ or, ‘Every single day I’m trying to cope’, I think we need to completely change it.”
He added: “And that’s what I mean about the difference between mental health and mental fitness.
“The mental fitness aspect is like, ‘I’m not going to wait for myself to be, either collapse on the floor or wait to have a nervous breakdown or burnout and then have to fall on my friends or then have to pay X amount of money or find the money to be able to afford professional help’.”