Mental health advocate Prince Harry paid a visit to the charity Help for Heroes on Monday, January 23, where he confessed to missing life in the army. The royal served in the military for ten years before retiring in 2015. During his visit to the rehabilitation center, Harry admitted to war veterans in Wiltshire, Tedworth House that he missed the “black humor” and camaraderie of army life.
The 32-year-old was on hand to visit the charity’s Hidden Wounds program, which supports veterans and their families and learn about military mental health. Harry, who is an advocate for mental health, spoke about the need for service individuals to focus on their mental recovery.
“Getting back your mental as well as your physical fitness is a really important thing,” the Prince said. “One of the biggest struggles is accepting that there is a problem in the first place.”
While at the center, the British royal visited the Hero Garden, which offers therapy through gardening and chatted with former military personnel about their experience building an “Iron Age Round House” that taught them new skills like carpentry and woodcraft, in addition to providing a sense of achievement and a boost in self-esteem.
“Let's be honest, if it wasn't for this? Did you both turn to the bottle?” Harry asked the men. Eddie Beddoes, 42, an ex-infantry soldier replied, “I did when I got out, for quite a few years,” adding, “But then you settle down and have a family. But then there are the ups and downs associated with that.”
Working on the charity's woodcraft project proved to be therapeutic for some of the men. Harry told them, “Getting back your mental health, mental wellbeing, your mental fitness is a really important thing. Rather than operating at fifty or sixty per cent you can operate at eighty or ninety percent and be a better person. Look at what you have achieved with this. It is remarkable. I thought I was good at carpentry, but clearly I'm not.”
Last April, Prince Harry revealed that he received psychological support after being extracted for his 2008 tour of duty in Afghanistan. "The Army put you through a day, two-day course on the way back through Cyprus, which is crucial to everybody," the royal said. “I described it to someone ages ago as one of those slide shows that go through your mind.”
He added, "If you've got a good imagination as well, everything that you see, especially if it's something that is quite powerful, then that slide is in there. It's always in there and if you have dark moments in your life those slides will pop up.”
As Harry continued his visits benefiting soldiers and mental health, his girlfriend Meghan Markle is busy championing her own cause in India. The 35-year-old headed to Delhi where she recently learned about various issues affecting women and young girls in slum communities including education and health care. The Suits star's trip coincided with World Vision's "Rise Up! Daughters of India" campaign, which aims to raise awareness about gender discrimination, including the problem of 63 million teenage girls who do not have access to proper toilet facilities.