Prince William Says He Still Finds It 'Difficult to Talk' About Traumatic Personal Experiences

Prince William wants to keep the conversation going surrounding mental health.

The 36-year-old Duke of Cambridge recalled his own experiences working as an air ambulance pilot while speaking about the importance of mental health during a panel session at the 49th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

“I think now, there’s a generation here that are finally realizing that this is not normal, we should talk about it. We should get over it,” William began. “We’ve got to start tackling it now so that our children and grandchildren don’t have to go through this process and they can be a lot more open about [mental health].”

When asked if there was a particular incident that really hit home for William during his time as a pilot, the father of three said that he “still find[s] it very difficult to talk about it.”

“I get very emotional about it because it relates very closely to my children and so it is very hard to talk about it,” he shared. “Lots of people in the medical community have these particular cases where I don’t think you ever get over it because you go through someone else’s pain and you live with it.”

The duke continued, adding that “the most important thing was understanding and realizing it was there.”

“I think if I hadn’t been doing what I was doing, I might have gone into my shell a bit and gone, ‘I can deal with this myself.’ Then potentially, down the line, it manifests itself in a much worse situation,” he explained. “I know that if I hadn’t taken the action that I did then, I would have definitely gone down a slippery slope and I would have been dealing with mental illness on a different level.”

William, his wife, Kate Middleton, and brother Prince Harry have made mental health their focus for the last few years, creating the Heads Together initiative to help shoot down the stigmas surrounding mental health awareness and treatment.

Last November during another panel discussion at the This Can Happen conference, William touched on how having children affected his job. Explaining that he “never thought” his job would affect him “too much,” the royal said that he “worked several times on traumatic jobs involving children.”

Hear more in the video below.

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