Meghan Markle's suicidal thoughts an important message for Kiwis - Mental Health Foundation

This article deals with mental health problems, including suicidal thoughts.

Meghan Markle's frank discussion about suicide has been welcomed by mental health experts. 

But questions are being raised about the Royal Family failing to support her. 

In the public eye, Meghan Markle looked like she was loving her new royal life, but behind the facade, she was struggling with her mental health, living a life she didn't want to.

"I just didn't want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought," Markle told host Oprah Winfrey.

Meghan talked openly with Winfrey about her struggles and adjusting to the Royal Family, which publicly says "you need to prioritise your mental health".

But Meghan said she just needed help.

"I said I just need help. And they said 'my heart goes out to you because I see how hard it is but there's nothing we can do because you're not a paid employee of the institution'."

The Duchess said just hours before an engagement in January 2019, she revealed her suicidal thoughts to Prince Harry.

"But we had to go to this event and I remember him saying 'I don't think you can go' and I said 'I can't be left alone' because you were afraid of what you might do to yourself.

"If you zoom in, what I see is how tightly his knuckles are wrapped around mine, you can see the whites of our knuckles because we are smiling and doing our job but we were both just trying to hold on."

Hillary Clinton says it's time the Royal Family got with the times. 

"The reaction is, let's just paper it over and pretend it didn't happen and keep your head down," she says. 

"But the reality is this woman wasn't about to keep her head down... I mean this is 2021."

Mental Health Foundation CEO Shaun Robinson says no one is immune from mental health struggles. He adds the interview shares a message Kiwis should listen to.

"What it displays is it's not ok to have a system, whether it's the Royal Family firm or whether it's my family system or a workplace or a school or a society that damages people's health," Robinson says. 

Because while most of us don't get to live in palaces or open up to Oprah. When it comes to needing to protect our mental health, we're all the same.

Where to find help and support: 

Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633

Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)

Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737

What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)

Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email or online chat

Samaritans - 0800 726 666

Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757

Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584