Yes, It’s OK to Bring Some Humor to Our Conversations About Mental Health (So Our Thanks Goes Out to Prince Harry and Ed Sheeran)

The two teamed up on a video that left us chuckling, and most importantly... talking.

SussexRoyal/ Instagram
SussexRoyal/ Instagram

In a sea of conversations to honor World Mental Health Day yesterday, Prince Harry and Ed Sheeran added to the discussion in a different (read: hilarious) way. In a video they created — and shared on the @SussexRoyal Instagram page — Sheeran meets with Harry for what the popstar thinks will be a collaboration on a campaign about what it’s like to live with red hair (#gingerproblems).

“People just don’t understand what it’s like for people like us — with the jokes and the snide comments. I think it’s time we stood up and say, ‘We are ginger, and we are going to fight,'” Sheeran says. But then things get really awkward when Prince Harry pipes up to say, “There may have been a miscommunication — this is about World Mental Health Day?” (We won’t tell you the rest of how the video unfolds, but you can click below to see for yourself.)

Prince Harry has been a vocal mental health advocate, even opening up about seeking help to deal with his own issues following the death of his mother. Sheeran has also been candid about the choices he’s made to improve his emotional well-being, such as ditching his smartphone to prioritize face-to-face connections. But yesterday’s video adds a new layer of humor to the conversation. 

“Being able to have a sense of lightheartedness when it comes to mental health can be important,” Goali Bocci, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and adjunct psychology professor at Pepperdine University’s graduate school, tells Thrive. Elia Gourgouris, Ph.D., the author of 7 Paths to Lasting Happiness, adds that there is a difference “between making fun of mental illness and using humor to start talking about something we usually hold inside. Without being insensitive or offensive, it can be healthy to shed some lighthearted humor on a serious situation.”

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