Prince Harry shows support for trans kids charity Mermaids
The Duke of Sussex, who has previously described the charity as “amazing,” invited Mermaids to join the Royal Foundation’s work on mental health.
CEO of Mermaids Susie Green told The Telegraph the news is “hugely beneficial” in helping trans children and teenagers feel acknowledged and supported.
Prince Harry has recently made young people a key focus of his work and spoke with Green at a recent roundtable meeting, where he reportedly said: “They are on the front line of mental health work in the UK.”
Equality campaigners such as Green believe the royal support could help their battle against a sea of negative press stirring up controversy about trans people.
‘Trans people facing the same stigma as gay people decades ago’
The Mermaids CEO told the Telegraph that trans people are facing the “same headlines” as the gay community did 20 or 30 years ago, when Harry’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales, worked to transform public perception about HIV/AIDS.
“I think it’s always really important to young people to see that people with the authority and credibility that Prince Harry has are supporting them and are listening and acknowledging the fact that they exist,” she said.
“This is somebody who has got that profile who’s showing a clear understanding of the issues they’re facing.”
Formed in 1995 as a support group, Mermaids works to raise awareness about gender issues amongst professionals and the general public, campaigning for the recognition of gender dysphoria in young people. It also lobbies for improvements in professional services.
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Nearly half of all individuals who identify as transgender experience depression or anxiety issues while more than four in every five transgender schoolchildren have self-harmed.
According to Stonewall, nearly half of trans children have considered suicide.
Green spoke to PinkNews in 2018, ahead of being invited to Buckingham Palace, and said: “Kate, Will, and Harry have made their commitment to mental health very clear, and although gender dysphoria is not a mental illness, unfortunately, due to massive prejudice and ignorance, discrimination is still rife and young people and their families are suffering.”
“Being recognised by the royal family is a huge boost to Mermaids. and the dedicated team of volunteers staff and trustees that make our work possible.”