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.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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