The royal family: Mental health is just as important as physical health.

"[Mental health] matters just as much as our physical health," Prince William said at a recent event in London.

"There are times when, whoever we are, it is hard to cope with challenges — and when that happens, being open and honest and asking for help is life-changing."

Photo by Stefan Wermuth-WPA Pool/Getty Images.


Prince William, along with Princess Catherine and Prince Harry, gave important speeches on destigmatizing mental illness on Jan. 17, 2017.

The royals addressed a room full of reporters at the Institute of Contemporary Arts about the necessity for all of us to reach out if we're struggling in silence.

Photo by Stefan Wermuth-WPA Pool/Getty Images.

The three threw the event to support Heads Together, an initiative aimed at prioritizing mental health in Britain and the official charity partner of the 2017 London Marathon.

The royals dropped some serious truths about why this issue matters so much.

Kate explained how talking really can feel like a dose of medicine.

Harry noted why he's looking ahead with lots of hope when it comes to our perceptions of mental health.

And William noted that 2017 could be a big year in changing the conversation around mental illness.

Coincidentally, the message of the royals' Heads Together event is particularly meaningful in the U.S. right now, where the Affordable Care Act is on the chopping block.

The same day William, Kate, and Harry gave their speeches in London, mental health advocates in the United States got some potentially sobering news.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a study that found stripping away key provisions of the Affordable Care Act may cost 18 million people their health insurance in the first year alone, according to The New York Times. That number could tick upward to 32 million throughout the next decade, marking a major reversal in the health care coverage expansion we've seen since Obamacare passed.

This, of course, wouldn't just affect physical health ailments. Many plans provided by Obamacare offered services like depression screenings and included access to physicians who could diagnose and treat conditions like bipolar disorder. Millions of Americans could lose access to these life-changing mental health benefits.

While continued destigmatization of mental illness shows great progress, it's also vital that progress is reflected in the laws we live by.

Prince William is right — 2017 can be a major tipping point for helping those in need of mental health services. But we should make sure the right kind of care is available to those brave enough to speak up, too.

Here's how to tell your representative in Washington you think mental health coverage is vital and believe the Affordable Care Act should stay.

Albert Einstein

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