The Royal Foundation invites Mermaids to join Heads Together in the fight to raise awareness in mental health and ensure all are getting the support they need

Mermaids in the UK’s leading charity that provides both family and individual support for “gender diverse and transgender children and young people”. The charity was invited to a meeting with Heads Together, the umbrella charity run by the Royal Foundation, in recognition of the important work it does for young transgender and gender diverse children and their families.

On news of the support offered by Prince Harry and the Royal Foundation, campaigners have shared their hopes that this royal support could “change the lives of trans youth”.

Speaking with Mermaids CEO Susie Green, Prince Harry expressed his support, sharing how he believed Mermaids were on the front line of mental health in the UK.

She said that the invitation from Heads Together was “quite heartening, bearing in mind that there is such controversy and we are attacked regularly”, adding that the Duke’s support would be “hugely beneficial” in helping transgender children and teenagers, with his words being “massively useful for us to be able to feed back to young people”.

A spokesperson for the Royal Foundation said: “Mermaids are one of a number of important organisations who are working on the frontline to support the mental health and wellbeing of young people in Britain.

“It is important for The Royal Foundation to work with organisations across the board to best understand these issues young people are dealing with today, and gain a clear understanding of what support is being made available.”

The meeting has raised hopes that Prince Harry’s input could help change perceptions of transgender people and campaigners, who have been the subject of significant controversy in recent years. Mermaids has faced particular criticism recently from those who fear “confused young people” are “being encouraged towards medical intervention and transition”.

Green expressed how the criticism of Mermaids’ work had been unfair, claiming that the charity’s work is “transparent” and that they work to support children and their families, with the aim of simply wanting happy children.

She pointed out how transgender people now are facing the “same headlines” as they gay community faced two decades ago, when Princess Diana was carrying out her work.

“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,” said Green.

“This is somebody who has got that profile who’s showing clear understanding of the issues they’re facing.”

The roundtable meeting was held at South Ealing YMCA and included representatives from charities Young Minds, The Mix, Stonewall and Safe Lives.

Green said that the roundtable would enable Mermaids to build alliances, swap resources and share knowledge with other charities for young people.

In the meeting, the Duke spoke about his belief that more “success stories” need to be highlighted, sharing experiences of those who have overcome mental health issues. He said: “Every single one of us has mental health. The younger generation feel so much more positive about this.”

Whether you are the person coming out as trans, or you are the parent of a child on this journey, know that help is available. Counsellor Anna Jezuita shares her advice for transitioning teens, children and their families in her articles, Tips for Transitioning Teens and Helping Teens Transition: A Guide for Parents.

If someone close to you has come out as trans, it’s important you support them as much as possible. Counsellor Noel Bell explains more in his article, How to Support a Loved One as they Come Out as Trans.

If you are worried about your mental health, Counselling Directory can help. Search for therapists in your area by entering your location in the box below.

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