Prince Harry hired by San Francisco-based mental health coaching start-up
The prince has talked about his mental health struggles in the past and now he'll have a chance to help others
In the wake of his headline-making interview with wife Meghan Markle, this week Prince Harry has announced his first real job in the corporate world after giving up his position as a senior member of the royal family.
According to Newsweek, the Duke of Sussex has signed on to become chief impact officer at BetterUp, a mental health startup used by corporate giants including Hilton, Facebook, and oil firm Chevron to improve the emotional wellbeing of their staff. Last month, the Silicon Valley company was valued by Reuters to be worth a whopping $1.73 B.
“I intend to help create impact in people’s lives,” the prince told the Wall Street Journal. “Proactive coaching provides endless possibilities for personal development, increased awareness, and an all-around better life.”
“This is about acknowledging that it isn’t so much what is wrong with us, but more about what has happened to us over the course of life. Often because of societal barriers, financial difficulty, or stigma, too many people aren’t able to focus on their mental health until they’re forced to.”
Harry also revealed that he enlisted the help of his own mentor through the app months ago, although his high-profile background as a member of the royal family made it tricky to fill out the multiple-choice questionnaire.
“I realize I’m an outlier so there’s no need to get the engineers on it,” he playfully teased. “I was matched with my coach who, quite frankly, is truly awesome and has always given me sound advice and a fresh perspective, which is so valuable.”
Overall, when it comes to his hopes for the app he shared, “I want us to move away from the idea that you have to feel broken before reaching out for help.”
To his credit, the response to the announcement has been well received on social media, with one user tweeting, “Bravo [clapping hands] he’s relevant experience as mental health advocate & work in establishing campaigns like HeadsTogether to de-stigmatise MH as well as becoming a trained counsellor years ago to help him better help others. I think he’ll do well with them.”
“We are energized by his model of inspiration and impact through action. As a true citizen of the world, he has dedicated his life’s work to bringing attention to the diverse needs of people everywhere and advocating for mental health initiatives,” BetterUp CEO Alexi Robichaux wrote in the company’s press release.
In his own statement Harry said he and Alexi’s “shared passion for helping others realise their full potential” is what drew him in.
“As BetterUp’s first Chief Impact Officer, my goal is to lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities, and foster an environment for honest and vulnerable conversations,” Harry wrote. “And my hope is to help people develop their inner strength, resilience, and confidence.”
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