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Prince Harry warns of mobile phones affecting mental health

Telegraph Media

Young people should try to take a break from checking their mobile phones to “process their thoughts” instead of rushing through the day, Prince Harry has suggested.

Prince Harry, who has spent the year campaigning on mental health issue, said more still needed to be done to equip young people to deal with the modern world.

Citing statistics about the number of times young people check their mobile phones, he argued everyone would be “more effective and efficient” if they took more time to simply think.

Prince Harry at Leeds Leads
Prince Harry at Leeds Leads

Prince Harry spoke in Leeds at a panel event entitled “Encouraging Happy Young Minds”.

It follows months of tireless campaigning for Heads Together, the charity set up by the Prince and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to raise awareness about mental health issues.

In a speech, he said: “I cannot tell you how pleased William, Catherine and I are that the dial seems to have shifted and that there is now greater understanding, compassion and kindness for anyone who opens up about their struggles.

Prince Harry meets Ronnie the Rhino
Prince Harry meets Ronnie the Rhino

“But let’s not kid ourselves that the job is done – there is much much more that we can do at every level to make conversations about mental health as commonplace as those about physical health.

“For example, we need to better equip our young people with the tools they need to cope with this increasingly complex and fast moving world we live in.

Prince Harry on the phones at charity Sentebale in 2016
Prince Harry on the phones at charity Sentebale in 2016

“I read recently that young people check their phones at least 150 times per day – I’m sure we could all be more effective and efficient if we took a moment to process our thoughts rather than rushing from one thing to the next.”

Later in the day, the Prince, who is patron of the Rugby Football League, spent time at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, the home of Leeds Rhinos, along with players, schoolchildren and mascot Ronnie the Rhino.

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