Prince Harry Joins Mental Health Startup Firm As Chief Impact Officer

Prince Harry Joins Mental Health Startup Firm As Chief Impact Officer

In his post-royal life, Prince Harry has shared the news about his joining a company focused on improving mental health.

Image Source: Getty/Photo by Peter Nicholls-WPA Pool

Nearly a year since Prince Harry stepped down from his role as senior members of the British Royal Family along with his wife Meghan Markle, he has landed a job. The 36-year-old Duke of Sussex will now serve as the chief impact officer for a Silicon Valley startup BetterUp. Harry will be a part of the executive team of BetterUp, a company focused on improving mental health with the help of "world-class coaching, AI technology, and behavioral science experts." In a press release, the tech startup's CEO Alexi Robichaux said, "We are energized by his model of inspiration and impact through action."


Robichaux continued explaining how Harry—who has taken up residence in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife, Markle, and son, Archie—has inspired everyone. "As a true citizen of the world, he has dedicated his life’s work to bringing attention to the diverse needs of people everywhere and advocating for mental health initiatives: from founding the Invictus Games, a platform for service personnel to use sport as part of their psychological and physical rehabilitation, to launching Sentebale, which supports the mental health and well-being of young people affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana," continued the release according to US Magazine.


"As a member of the BetterUp executive team, Prince Harry will expand on the work he’s been doing for years, as he educates and inspires our community and champions the importance of focusing on preventative mental fitness and human potential worldwide," added Robichaux. Meanwhile, Harry announced his new role in a blog post writing, "As BetterUp’s first Chief Impact Officer, my goal is to lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities, and foster an environment for honest and vulnerable conversations. And my hope is to help people develop their inner strength, resilience, and confidence."

Harry then went to explain how he has personally worked with a BetterUp coach and has utilized their coaching even at his and Markle's company, Archewell. "I firmly believe that focusing on and prioritizing our mental fitness unlocks potential and opportunity that we never knew we had inside of us. As the Royal Marine Commandos say, 'It’s a state of mind.' We all have it in us," he wrote. "Being attuned with your mind, and having a support structure around you, are critical to finding your own version of peak performance. What I’ve learned in my own life is the power of transforming pain into purpose."


He then opened up about his own experience during his military days. "During my decade in the military, I learned that we don’t just need to build physical resilience, but also mental resilience. And in the years since, my understanding of what resilience means — and how we can build it — has been shaped by the thousands of people and experts I’ve been fortunate to meet and learn from," he said noting how a BetterUp Coach helped him find "a new perspective" in life. The news comes shortly after the couple's tell-all interview with Ophrah Winfrey where Meghan revealed her struggle with suicidal thoughts.


"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's suffered, but I knew that if I didn't say it that I would do it," said Markle, according to Good Morning America. "And I just didn't, I just didn't want to be alive anymore, and that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought." Even though she was supported by her husband, even he admitted that he "went to a very dark place as well" as he couldn't get help for his wife. "I had no idea what to do. I wasn't prepared for that," Harry told Winfrey. He did not reach out to his family to get help for Markle, who despite being a senior royal could not get assistance for her mental health struggles.


This revelation was especially surprising because Harry, his brother Prince William, and his sister-in-law Duchess Kate has been advocating mental health over the past couple of years. In 2016 they joined forced to launch Heads Together, a campaign focused on breaking the stigma around mental illness. Then in 2019, Markle joined the trio and launched Shout, a free messaging service offering 24/7 support to the public suffering from mental health issues. Harry has been very open about struggling with the death of his mom Princess Diana, who dies in a car crash in 1997. He even credited his elder brother William for encouraging him to seek mental health support when he was in his 20s. 


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