Prince Harry’s Mental & Physical Health Initiative For the Armed Forces

Prince Harry’s Mental & Physical Health Initiative For the Armed Forces

In late April of 2020 it was announced that Prince Harry, after recently abdicating his royal duties, has created a new fitness app aimed at the military community. 

The central idea of the app is to provide military personnel with the tools to be more proactive about their physical and mental health. Called HeadFIT, the program has reportedly been in the making for nearly three years. 

HeadFIT has been created with Britain’s Defence community in mind, offering round-the-clock access to self-help tools that are meant to help with managing mood, drive, and confidence. It also features helpful tools that can assist with meditative breathing exercises, correcting body posture, and integral relaxation techniques to help facilitate day-to-day activities.

In his statement about the new resource, the Duke of Sussex said: “I’ve long believed the military community should lead the way for the rest of society. For too long we have been waiting for problems to arise and then reacting to them. HeadFIT is a proactive approach to mental fitness, focusing on our own potential to increase our performance, using proven methods in sport science.”

HeadFIT along with mental and physical health in the military are issues close to the Duke’s heart, as he served in the army himself for ten years. This is also why much of his charitable work during his royal career has had a very clear focus on veterans and members of the armed forces. And as much as HeadFIT is intended to help with “building resilience that will match that of most world-class athletes”, it’s also keenly aimed at the overall health and well-being of those serving in the military. 

And while this is a worthy project for someone of Prince Harry’s stature, it’s also an integral step towards destigmatizing mental health issues in the military, specifically. That someone of his clout has created such a platform is remarkable, and will go a long way to creating a healthier discourse around mental illness as a whole, but especially for this deeply affected community shrouded in bias. 

Men comprise the majority of military personnel and are statistically less likely to seek help for mental health issues. Considering as well that the trauma of war was largely invisible for the better part of a century, addressing mental health issues in a proactive, honest, and vulnerable way that is accessible to the general public will make a huge impact on normalizing these issues. It will make a huge difference in facilitating treatment for these conditions, as well as mitigating what could otherwise become long-lasting psychological and physiological disorders. 

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