From Harper’s BAZAAR
Ever since Prince Harry made mental heath issues one of the cornerstones of his work, he has led a number of initiatives to improve the wellbeing of people around the world. The new year has seen the Duke of Sussex’s work in this field continue with his assistance on a new project that will support Australia’s first responders and their families.
Peak Fortem is a free resource kit that offers videos and tools to help with mental health struggles and guidance to make positive changes. Their digital toolkit, based on a project founded by Harry in the U.K., is underpinned by thoroughly-researched psychological models that have been developed especially for first responders.
“Our mental fitness is one and the same as our physical fitness,” Harry says in a statement shared with BAZAAR.com. “Serving in the military, I saw first-hand how critical it is to train your mind as a muscle—not only to endure challenges and stresses, but to excel, grow, and build resilience in all aspects of life.”
He continues, “Peak Fortem is the product of teamwork, dedication, and a commitment to supporting and strengthening communities of all kind — values upheld by Australia’s first responders.”
The program follows the Duke’s successful work with the U.K’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) to introduce mental fitness training into the military. HeadFIT, which he had been working on since 2017, is now a successful online training program and has positive results. Just last month, the MOD announced that Britain would be the first country in the world to make mental fitness training a compulsory training regime for troops.
“With Peak Fortem, we are witnessing the next step in a global movement towards mental fitness,” adds Harry, who served in the British Army for 10 years and undertook two tours of Afghanistan.
Australia’s Minister for Emergency Management, David Littleproud, has also praised the project, sharing in a statement, “Our first responders have been front and centre supporting and caring for our community through bushfires, storms, floods and now COVID. I’m pleased to join Fortem Australia to launch Peak Fortem, a mental health literacy program supported by a grant program for Emergency Service Workers trauma care by the Department of Home Affairs.”
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