The highly anticipated multi-part documentary series from co-creators and executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, featuring illuminating stories that help lift the veil on the current state of mental health and emotional well-being.
Episode 1: Say It Out Loud
The conversation begins with Oprah and Prince Harry speaking of how this last year has been trying for everyone. The talk about how the mental health crisis across the country is something that we need to talk about. Harry speaks about therapy and how he has been going for four years, and he explains how it has helped him.
Harry talks about how it was frowned upon and that going to therapy wasn’t considered a good thing growing up. From here, he begins to talk about the death of his mother, and at a young age, it was heartbreaking but more so because no justice was served and that he couldn’t express himself over what happened.
Throughout this powerful first episode, we hear Harry, Rashad, Lady Gaga, and Virginia talk about how they battle these demons, and for me, them talking about it is critical. We need to make it okay to share our thoughts, tell others we are not okay, but sometimes people don’t want to hear our parents or friends tell us we need help, often people they look up to can show them that it is okay, and this series will do that for others.
Episode 2: Asking for Help
Oprah tells stories of why she went through the famous giving cars away and how she was very particular in picking the people in that audience. Alex was one member stuck with Oprah. She helped her but realized that the help she needed wasn’t enough for her.
For me, Oprah is this massive figure we all know well but to watch her breakdown and tell these stories and admit that she didn’t even know what to do, was surreal. People often forget these celebrities are humans too and that because they have all this money, they are fine, but the problem with that is, they have past too. For the ‘normal people’ (including myself), we don’t know how to cope with things, and these celebrities are the same way.
We meet Zak Williams, the son of Robin Williams, and he speaks about dealing with the trauma of losing his father. He talked about dealing with the loss of his father in this public light because he was father was so revered. Hearing his journey was moving and powerful.
Harry opens up about his relationship with Megan. He explained that their relationship was on the brink because of his inner demons and the spotlight being projected on him at all times.
The trauma you hear from everyone in this is therapeutic at times and inspirational. If you need help, ask for it.
Episode 3: Finding What Works
The episode begins with DeMar DeRozan speaking about him coming out about his struggle with mental health. You hear Dwayne Casey, his Head Coach, talk about how he woke up during the All-Star break and saw DeRozan’s tweet and was devastated. He had no clue that DeMar was going through that, and he felt he let him down.
That’s where mental health is the scariest because someone like DeMar is in plain sight looking like the happiest man, but deep down, he is struggling with his demons.
If you see someone in your life acting normal, ask them if they are okay. If you see someone struggling, asking them if they are okay, normalize checking in on your friends and family daily.
I genuinely hope everyone watches this series as this is quite possibly the most important piece of media we could watch during this time. Mental health isn’t taken seriously enough. We aren’t hearing people scream out for help. We aren’t helping people enough, and time and time again, we are witnessing this disease kill people daily. If you need someone, say something, and don’t be afraid to seek help. It is okay to feel weak or depressed. As Lady Gaga said in the documentary, ‘Open your heart to someone else.’