Joining Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the Duke of Sussex helped launch Peak Fortem, an online resource for first responders. The programme intends to help workers work through stress and trauma, and is based off of a UK model. Harry and his brother Prince William have been outspoken on mental health, with the Sussex and Cambridge royals both committing to improving conversations around the subject.
Harry issued a statement in support of the new programme, and referenced his own experience in the military.
He said: “Our mental fitness is one and the same as our physical fitness.
“Serving in the military, I saw first hand how critical it is to train your mind as a muscle- not only to endure challenges and stresses but to excel, grow and build resilience in all aspects of life.
“Peak Fortem is the product of teamwork, dedication and a commitment to supporting and strengthening communities of all kinds – values upheld by Australia’s first responders.”
Mr Morrison launched the initiative today, which followed the devastating wildfires in Australia last year and the country’s battle with coronavirus.
He said in a statement: “I want all our first responders to understand that each of you matter.
“Your health matters. Your wellbeing matters. Your work to our community is vital, but you are more important than your work.”
Graham Ashton, former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, also said: “It’ll make the lives of first responders that much better… but also increase the amount of conversations about mental health and mental fitness.”
Peak Fortem is the latest mental health initiative to be backed by the Duke of Sussex.
Harry is currently working on a documentary about mental health for Apple TV with Oprah Winfrey, but the project has been delayed.
In May last year, he also helped launch HeadFIT with the British Ministry of Defence, and said: “This is about being the best you can be. This is about gaining an advantage, whether facing an opponent or overcoming a challenging situation.
“This is about building resilience that will match that of most world class athletes and prepare you for every day stress. To be HeadFIT, is to be at your peak performance.”
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Harry, William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge all helped start Heads Together, a programme dedicated to mental health, in 2016.
But Katie Nicholl, royal expert said to True Royalty TV, the two brothers could clash over the project after the Sussexes used a picture of Princess Diana for their own charity Archewell.
She said: “I think William will be concerned with that … Harry trying to take ownership of the Diana Legacy will be a problem.
“But also Harry doing mental health, Harry doing conservation, these are the issues that William and Kate want to do – that’s where I predict tensions.
“Heads Together was also Kate’s Idea.”