While speaking to Padukone about the importance of seeking help and support in moments of struggle, Meghan reflected on her “worst point” when she was connected to a mental health professional through her husband.
“I mean, I think at my worst point, being finally connected to someone that, you know, my husband had found a referral for me to call. And I called this woman, she didn’t even know I was calling her,” she recalled, adding that the woman had been checking out at the grocery store when she answered the duchess’s call. “I could hear the little beep, beep.”
Meghan said it took a few moments before the mental health expert realised who she was speaking to, at which point the duchess recalled “saying ‘I need help’”.
“And she could hear the dire state that I was in,” she continued, adding that it is important “for all of us to be really honest about what it is that you need and to not be afraid to make peace with that, to ask for it”.
The duchess’s comments come after she opened up about the depression she experienced as a working member of the royal family during her and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021.
At the time, Meghan revealed that she faced her lowest moments when she was pregnant with the couple’s son Archie.
“Look, I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it, to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he’s suffered. But I knew that if I didn’t say it that I would do it – and I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought,” she said.
Meghan said she went to the royal family to seek mental health support and the request was denied on the basis that “it wouldn’t be good for the institution”.
While Meghan credits Harry with helping her, the duke previously revealed that he feels “somewhat ashamed” about the way he handled the realisation that his wife was struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.
“Because of the system that we were in and the responsibilities and the duties that we had, we had a quick cuddle. And then we had to get changed and jump in a convoy with a police escort and drive to the Royal Albert Hall for a charity event and then step out into a wall of cameras and pretend as though everything is okay,” Harry told Oprah Winfrey as part of his Apple TV+ docuseries titled: The Me You Can’t See.
At the time, the duke said he felt sorry for his wife and angry with himself that they were “stuck in this situation”.
“I was ashamed that it got this bad, I was ashamed to go to my family because to be honest with you, like a lot of other people my age can probably relate to, I know I’m not going to get from my family what I need,” he said.
During her latest podcast episode, Meghan also said that she’s been “conditioned” not to show emotion in public. “I would love to cry this much, but I’m conditioned to still have some – a different kind of composure,” she said.
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.