The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and thousands of runners in headbands today helped make today’s Virgin Money London Marathon the first ever ‘mental health marathon’.
Their Royal Highnesses met some of the 700 runners taking part for Heads Together, the campaign they lead which is the Marathon’s Charity of the Year, before officially starting the mass race.
Thousands of runners wore the blue Heads Together headbands given to runners to show their support for the ‘mental health marathon’ and help get the country talking and start a new movement for mental health.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry cheered on runners and met friends and family of Team Heads Together as well as handing out water to thirsty runners at Mile 22 and placing medals over their heads after the finish line.
The mental health marathon is a culmination of a year of campaigning to change the conversation on mental health. This has included a series of films featuring people from all walks of life talking about their mental health. Model Adwoa Aboah and London blogger Jo Irwin, who took part in the #oktosay film series, both cheered on Heads Together runners at the marathon.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said:
‘The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry are thrilled that so many runners have chosen to wear Team Heads Together headbands today. Regardless of the great causes they are running for, thousands of people have put on a headband to make this the Mental Health Marathon.’
Following the London Marathon Heads Together and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will continue the momentum that has built up to help change the national conversation on mental health. The campaign will also back new initiatives to help people talk about mental health and find the support they need.
This will include major new digital initiatives, support for research and training, and ongoing campaigning around the power of conversations.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are spearheading the Heads Together campaign to build on the great work that is already taking place across the country, to ensure that people feel comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing, feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times, and that fear no longer prevents people talking or getting the help they need.
Heads Together brings together a team of Charity Partners that have achieved great progress in tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health problems. The team covers a wide range of mental health issues that are close to The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry’s passions.
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably
Contact (a military mental health coalition)
The privilege of being the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year gives Heads Together a positive platform to raise funds for the support provided by the campaign’s charity partners and to start millions of conversations.
The Heads Together campaign is being generously supported by The Hans & Julia Rausing Trust, ShareGift and the first three Heads Together Founding Partners – Dixons Carphone, Unilever UK and Virgin Money. This support will help amplify the aims of the campaign as well as fund specific projects designed to help us all with mental health.
Heads Together Headband Heroes talk about mental health from InVision Communications on Vimeo.