Prince Harry Discusses Mental Health Stigma With Veterans
Prince Harry and George W Bush called to end the stigma for veterans who suffer from mental health issues ahead of the Invictus Games on Sunday. Both men shook hands and took part in a panel during a day-long symposium on invisible wounds, opened by the former President's wife, Laura Bush, in Orlando, Florida.
Harry, 31, the creator and patron of the Invictus Games since their first edition in 2014, said it was important for veterans who struggle to be able to talk freely and urged employers to give them jobs. Bush, 69, suggested dropping the last letter from 'PTSD', Us Weekly reported and viewing post-traumatic stress as an injury instead of a disorder.
The games' first edition in London ''smashed the stigma around physical wounds'', Harry said. He hopes this year's competition will do the same for invisible injuries.
''I've spoken to everybody who has severe PTSD to minor depression, anxiety - whatever it might be,' he added. 'Everybody says the same thing: If you can deal with it soon enough, if you can deal with it quick enough, and have the ability and the platform to speak about it openly, then you can fix these problems. If you can't fix it, you can at least find a coping mechanism. There's no reason people should be hiding in shame after they've served their country.''
Bush thanked Harry for serving in the military and for worrying about veterans. 'I'm confident you could have chosen another path, and you chose to do the hard thing,' the former president added. 'I miss saluting the vets. I have great respect for the men and women who volunteered for our military.
''I also understand that these men and women can be a tremendous asset for our country and therefore I want to be a part of helping them transition from the military to the private sector.''
Giving veterans jobs should be a priority, Harry said according to US Weekly. ''If I ran a business I would want individuals like this regardless of their situation,'' he added. ''I'd want them for what they stand for, for the training that they've had, for the values that they stand up for.''