"[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.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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