by Matt M., CMWN Intern

I had intended to use this space today to tell you about my peer support specialist training experience and what it will forever mean to me.  That bridge is under construction, however, so we will circle back around to it in the future.  Instead, I want to reroute our peers and allies to the recently posted video of a chat between Lady Gaga and Prince William.

It went online this last Tuesday as part of the #oktosay video series hosted by Heads Together is a mental health awareness campaign championed by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Catherine, and by their accomplished brother Prince Henry of Wales.  The impressive effort aims to challenge stigma and fear surrounding issues of mental wellbeing to inspire free dialogue within society.

This video highlights the need for all of us to normalize mental health issues and realize their eventuality within our lives.  All too often, fear of judgment and shame of being different compounds our individual struggles. Lady Gaga speaks to this point when describing the worry about something being “wrong” with you.  It can seem impossible to reach out for help or healing when we are overcome by the instinct to hide our difficulties from the world.  Prince William then emphasizes our duty to break the taboo that only leads to more problems further on.  We must take it upon ourselves to start the conversation.

Emotional health is just as essential as physical health.  People require wellness of the mind to live just as they need healthy bodies to sustain them.  If we can understand our different physical and mental conditions as parts of our whole selves, then we can accept and care for those parts as integral to the entirety of life.  We can be just as engaged in supporting each other’s mental wellbeing as we are in caring for one another’s physical health.  It starts by talking about it, though.  So reach out.  Know that you are not alone.  Understand that it is normal to be different and that your experience can help others when those differences find them.

My most profound thanks go out to Lady Gaga and Prince William for demonstrating the courage to start a dialogue.  We here at CMWN strive every day to foster and relay this courage to others.  So check out the video at & as always:


Be well.  Have hope.  Pass it on.

Detour: #oktosay