Prince Harry has said job resignations accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic “aren’t all bad” – adding that those who prioritise their mental health should be “celebrated”.
The 37-year-old father-of-two, who stepped back as a senior working royal for a new life in the US with wife Meghan, made the comments as chief impact officer for professional coaching and mental health firm BetterUp.
He said many people across the globe “would have been stuck in jobs that didn’t bring them joy” – insisting this was the beginning of a “mental health awakening”.
The Duke of Sussex’s Q&A with Fast Company was published on the same day his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, had an audio walking tour released for Apple in which he discusses his own mental health.
Economists in the US have dubbed the workplace trend of increased burnout and job resignations prompted by the pandemic as the “Great Resignation”.
When asked about it, Harry said: “I’ve actually discovered recently, courtesy of a chat with (BetterUp science board member) Adam Grant, that a lot of the job resignations you mention aren’t all bad.
“In fact, it is a sign that with self-awareness comes the need for change.
“Many people around the world have been stuck in jobs that didn’t bring them joy, and now they’re putting their mental health and happiness first. This is something to be celebrated.”
He added: “While on the surface it looks like these last couple of years brought all these issues to the foreground, the reality is these struggles and issues have been brewing for quite some time.
“We’re just at the beginning of the mental health awakening.”
Harry’s role at San Francisco-based BetterUp, which is valued at $4.7bn (£3.5bn), involves product strategy, philanthropy, and public advocacy related to mental health.
The duke is also involved in the firm’s commitment to Pledge 1% – a movement that encourages companies to donate 1% of equity, staff time, product or profit to their communities.
Harry also said that BetterUp envisions a “world where growth and transformation are possible for everyone, and everyone has access to the support and care they need to thrive”.
He continued: “Being attuned with your mind, and having a support structure around you, are critical to finding your own version of peak performance, whether you’re a global leader or an employee working nine to five.”
Harry has also opened up about his mental health struggles as part of an Apple series.
His brother, Prince William, has recalled feeling “like the whole world was dying” as he struggled in his role as an air ambulance pilot in an Apple Fitness+ Time to Walk episode.