Meghan Markle spoke candidly about why she decided to speak out about having suicidal thoughts as she and Prince Harry received a human rights award at Tuesday’s Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City.
The Duchess of Sussex shared that she opened up about it during that Oprah Winfrey chat because, “I don’t want anyone to feel alone”.
She added that “it wasn’t an easy decision to make, as you can imagine,” Page Six reported.
Meghan told the crowd, “And when you’ve been through anything that’s challenging, and everyone, especially in the past few years with lockdown and COVID, that spike in numbers of people having an experience they might not be voicing.
“We all need to, when we can, if we feel brave enough, to just speak honestly about your own experience. It gives other people space and the courage to do the same, but more than that to really feel like you’re not alone, because I think that is often what can be the largest hindrance when you feel that way, you don’t see a way out.”
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Meghan added, “But ultimately, if you feel like there’s someone else that has a lived experience, they’ve gotten to the other side, and gave example of resilience, an example of ‘there is a happy ending’, I think that’s what most people are probably seeking out in those moments.
“And that’s why I made the decision to just say ‘if my experience can help someone else not feel the same way or to know that there’s hope then it’s worth every second of whatever comes with it.'”
Meghan spoke about having suicidal thoughts in her and Harry’s much-talked about Oprah interview that aired in March 2021.
She said at the time, “Look, I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he has suffered, but I knew that if I didn’t say it, then I would do it. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”
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Elsewhere during the evening, Meghan said she and Harry were on a “very special date night”, as Harry insisted they wanted to be “advocates of healing.”
The Duke gushed, “My wife inspires me every single day.”
He went on, “Ultimately we live in this world now where sharing experiences and sharing stories has an enormous impact,” saying it was important to share “if you are in a position of influence, leadership, or otherwise.”
He told the crowd, “99 percent of people on planet earth are dealing with some form of trauma, loss or pain even more so since 2020.
“But you’ve got to lead from the front – society as we know is not made up to encourage vulnerability. We collectively can heal together if we share our stories.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.