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Duke of Sussex: Veterans can make massive difference to public’s mental health

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Harry met ex-servicemen and women during a visit to Abbey Road Studios.

The Duke of Sussex at Abbey Road Studios

The Duke of Sussex urged members of the Invictus Games Choir to use their experiences on the front line to make a “massive difference” to the public’s mental health.

Harry, who founded the international sporting event for injured or sick military personnel, spoke during a visit to London’s Abbey Road Studios in February.

Alongside Jon Bon Jovi, the duke helped the choir, made up of former servicemen and women from the armed forces, record a charity single in aid of the Games, which were postponed this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In video footage from the visit, the duke said “a huge part of” re-recording Bon Jovi’s track, Unbroken, was that the choir were “once served, always serving”.

One of the 12 singers suggested they were giving back to the military community.

Harry added: “Not just the military community though. Remember the experiences that you guys have had.

“You can now be out in your own community, making a massive difference, because actually, believe it or not, you were given a better toolbox on how to deal with what you have to deal with than a vast majority of civvies.

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“So there is this inherent responsibility that stays with you for the rest of your life.

Royal visit to Abbey Road Studios
The Duke of Sussex, Jon Bon Jovi and the Invictus Games Choir (Hannah McKay/PA)

“And I think, especially within the mental health community, everybody always wants to make sure that whatever you’ve been through, you want to make sure no-one else has to go through what you went through.

“Or at least if they have to, then they’ve got the right support. I think that is really important.”

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Another member of the choir said there is still “a huge amount of stigma regardless of where you go”.

They added: “So it’s really important that the message … as much as we can, get it out there.

“And obviously it is hard to talk about your own experience, but if it can help somebody else then it’s worth it.”

– Unbroken featuring the Invictus Games Choir is out on Friday, with proceeds going to the Invictus Games Foundation.

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