Watch Duchess Kate Throw A Knockout Punch Against Mental Illness Stigma

A right hook for a righteous cause.

On Monday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge teamed up with Prince Harry and former boxing champion Duke McKenzie to deliver a symbolic blow against mental health stigma.

The royal trio donned boxing gloves to celebrate the launch of the new Heads Together initiative, intended to encourage a positive dialogue about mental wellness. The event, which emphasized the positive effect exercise can have on your psyche, was timed to coincide with 2016's Mental Health Awareness Week.

"Too often, people feel afraid to admit that they are struggling with their mental health," Duchess Kate said. "This fear of judgment stops people from getting the help they need, which can destroy families and end lives."

Nearly 1 in 5 people in the U.S. and 1 in 4 people in the U.K. have a mental illness. But despite how common mental illnesses are, stigma persists. Only a quarter of patients report feeling that people are caring and sympathetic to their illnesses.

"The more we talk about mental health, the more normal the topic becomes, and the more we feel able to open up and seek support," Prince William said.


The future heir to the throne took a few practice swings at McKenzie...

But it was Duchess Kate who turned out to be a boxing natural.

"She couldn't wait to get the gloves on and had a wicked punch," McKenzie told The Daily Mail. "Boxing is fantastic for your mental state. It helps you to punch out your problems, the discipline is good and if you are healthy in body it helps you to be healthy in mind. It is great for getting out all your stress and focusing."

The royals hope to plan more Heads Together events to raise awareness for mental health.

"As the year progresses, the three of us – working with all of you in this room and others who join us along the way – want to come up with practical ways of providing everyone who needs help with the right support and care," Prince Harry said.

Cover via  WPA Pool / Getty Images.


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