Marathon Training with Prince Harry 

Monday was an exciting day for the Best Beginnings Marathon Runners as they met with Prince Harry. Best Beginnings, as well as Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably, Contact (a military mental health coalition), Mind, Place2Be, The Mix and YoungMinds have been selected as Charity Partners of the Royal Foundation and the Heads Together Campaign to get people talking about Mental Health.

Heads Together, the campaign spearheaded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry aims to start millions of conversations on mental health, to reduce the stigma and normalise mental health.

Following the training, Prince Harry spoke powerfully at Virgin Money, a founder of the Marathon

Prince Harry spoke about the importance of conversation

‘None of us can get through a mental health difficulties without being willing to have a conversation and being able to admit that we might need some help. William, Catherine and I started this campaign because we saw that fear of judgement, stigma, and outdated prejudice meant that too many people stayed quiet about their mental health challenges.

He spoke with Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive at Virgin Money who shared her story of post natal depression and the power of conversation :

‘Like so many people, I have lived with mental health issues for periods of my life. After my daughter, Amy, was born in 2002 I experienced serious post-natal depression. I had expected to be full of joy, heavy black clouds of depression settled on me and wouldn’t let go.

‘It got so bad that I couldn’t bear being in our house and one weekend I hit rock bottom.

‘I told my then boss and now Virgin Money Board member, Norman McLuskie, that I needed to take some more time off work. Looking back, I am so glad that I had that conversation with Norman about how I was feeling. He couldn’t have been more supportive, and he gave me the time and space to work out what to do next.’

Post natal depression is one of many mental health issues that affect two in ten women during pregnancy and the year after birth.

Next month, Best Beginnings will be launching our series of films and training programme, Out of the Blue. The training is for multidisciplinary teams of health visitors, midwives, GPs, anaesthetists and more health professionals. It allows health professionals, who aren’t mental health specialists, to recognise and support maternal mental health issues. You can find out more about our training and work with Local Authorities, Trusts and CCGs here.

Part of the Out of the Blue film series is already available to the public. There are 64 mental health videos in our free, multi-award winning Baby Buddy app which supports families through pregnancy, birth and beyond which you can download here.