Harry was 'ashamed' of his response to Meghan Markle's suicidal thoughts: Docuseries
Harry spoke about how he dealt with Meghan Markle's suicidal thoughts in Apple TV+ mental health docuseries with Oprah Winfrey
During a bonus episode of his Apple TV+ series, 'The Me You Can't See', which was released on Thursday night, May 27, Harry took a subtle dig at the royal family. In the 90-minute special, Harry discussed how families are afraid to talk about mental health issues because of shame, before bonding with Robin Williams' son, Zak, who appeared as a guest on the show.
"Your father was a real hero of mine," Harry said after Zak Williams joined the show via video link. "He brought so much joy and entertainment to so many people". Harry also stated that he and Zak were both unable to properly grieve their famous parents' deaths due to media attention.
In 2014, Robin Williams committed suicide, evoking an outpouring of grief on a scale comparable to Princess Diana's untimely death in 1997. When asked about his feelings about his father's death, Zak admitted that he felt a disconnect between his personal feelings and the public outpouring of grief. Harry concurred by saying, 'We have a lot of shared experience when you see so many people around the world grieving for someone they feel they knew better than you did because you're unable to grieve yourself."
In a previous episode of 'The Me You Can't See' with Oprah, Harry admitted that he didn't know what to do when his wife Meghan Markle told him she was suicidal. "I'm somewhat ashamed of the way that I dealt with it," Harry said about Meghan wanting to kill herself in January 2019. "And of course, because of the system that we were in and the responsibilities and the duties that we had, we had a quick cuddle and then we had to get changed to jump in a convoy with a police escort and drive to the Royal Albert Hall for a charity event. Then step out into a wall of cameras and pretend as though everything's okay."
However, in a new bonus episode, Harry told Oprah Winfrey, with whom he co-produced the docuseries, that he now feels better prepared to respond to someone who tells him they are considering suicide. "So many people are afraid of being on the receiving end of that conversation [from a suicidal person] because they don't feel like they have the right tools to give the right advice," Harry said. "But what you want to say is 'You're there'. Listen, because listening and being part of that conversation is, without doubt, the best first step that you can take."
'How could we not know?'
'Fatal Attraction' actor Glenn Close, who also made an appearance in the bonus episode, said it was important to talk openly about mental health issues with family members. Close admitted that her family avoided talking about mental health and hid a history of mental illness in her family. She added that she too was ashamed for not realizing a family member had been struggling.
Harry chimed in, saying, "There's an element of shame that we feel because we're like 'How could we have not have seen it? How could we not know? How did you not feel comfortable enough to share that with me?'" The remark could have been intended as a dig at the royal family, whom he has previously accused of being closed off when it comes to discussing mental health issues. He didn't specify at that moment if he was referring specifically only to his own reaction to Meghan telling him she didn't want to live any longer.
Mental health and climate change
Meanwhile, Harry has stated that mental health, along with climate change, is the most pressing issue of our time. He went on to say that the two problems are inextricably linked. "The connecting line is about our collective well-being and when our collective well-being erodes, that affects our ability to be caretakers of ourselves, of our communities, and of our planet ultimately," he stated. "We have to create a more supportive culture for each other where challenges don't have to live in the dark, where vulnerability is healthy and encouraged and, of course, where physical and mental health can be treated equally because they are one," he added.