Harry and Meghan speak about ‘almost unsurvivable’ trolling and abuse

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have spoken about “almost unsurvivable” trolling and abuse while chatting with teenagers on a podcast to mark World Mental Health Day.

The Sussexes discussed topics including mental health stigma, self-care and online abuse after joining three Californian high school students on an episode of their podcast Teenager Therapy. Meghan told the teenagers that the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced schools around the world to close, has meant people are spending more time online where they may be subject to abuse.

She told hosts Gael, Kayla, and Thomas: “Yes, it’s a great way to connect, but it also ends up being a place where there’s a lot of disconnection, you know, I can speak personally to. The Duchess went on to say: “I’m told that in 2019 I was the most trolled person in the entire world, male or female. Now, eight months of that I wasn’t even visible, I was on maternity leave or with a baby.

She added, quote: “But what was able to just be manufactured and churned out, it’s almost unsurvivable, that’s so big, you can’t think of what that feels like, because I don’t care if you’re 15 or 25, if people are saying things about you that aren’t true, what that does to your mental and emotional health is so damaging.”

“I think many, many people are hurting, a lot, and are freaking out because of the way the world is and because of, sometimes, the echo chamber that has been created for them by the online platform that they’ve chosen to be on. But also it comes down to control as well, you can control what you see, you can control what you do, so whether it’s notifications or whether its vibration ringtones, whatever it is, these things control you, rather than taking control.”

Harry praised the teenage hosts and the younger generation for their openness surrounding mental health and personal difficulties, later telling the podcast that he meditates. The Prince will be returning to the UK soon, palace insiders say he is likely to receive a ‘telling off’ from the Queen over his political outbursts in the US.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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