Story at a glance
- During the coronavirus pandemic, those with and without preexisting conditions have struggled to maintain their mental health.
- HeadFIT is a free mental health program newly launched by Prince Harry’s charity foundation.
- The program is geared towards both active and retired military members, but is available to the public.
In these uncertain times, a new online resource hopes to help people find mental wellbeing.
HeadFIT is a product of the partnership between the UK's Ministry of Defense and Heads Together, a mental health initiative supported by Harry and Meghan Markle as well as the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The campaign focuses on the message that mental fitness is as important as physical fitness.
"Through our work with young people, emergency response, homeless charities, and with veterans, we have seen time and time again that unresolved mental health problems lie at the heart of some of our greatest social challenges,” said Harry on the HeadFIT website.
A veteran of the British armed forces, Harry is a vocal advocate for members of the military community and their mental health.
“I’ve long believed the military community should lead the way for the rest of society. For too long we have been waiting for problems to arise and then reacting to them,” he said in a statement.
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The website allows users to choose actionable mental fitness goals and provides a variety of tools for stress relief, motivation, confidence and mood. Using both the cognitive and emotional regulation models, the program also includes education on the science behind these mental health exercises.
“This is about optimization of self. This is about being the best you can be. This is about gaining an advantage, whether facing an opponent or overcoming a challenging situation. This is about building resilience that will match that of most world-class athletes and prepare you for everyday stress. To be HeadFIT is to be at your peak performance,” Harry said in a statement.
The planning for HeadFIT began nearly three years ago, before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, but the website has adapted some of its guidelines in consideration of the pandemic.
“Some HeadFIT tools involve going outside or spending time with other people but, for now, please use the tools in line with the latest Government guidelines on the Coronavirus. The most important action we can all take in fighting Coronavirus is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives,” reads a note at the top of the HeadFIT website.
In addition to HeadFIT, the Heads Together initiative offers a range of mental health resources, including Mentally Healthy Schools, geared towards primary school teachers, Mental Health at Work, for employers and employees, and Shout, a free text messaging service which provides 24/7 support for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis.
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