The couple's visit to local youth group AHA! Santa Barbara was in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are all smiles during surprise outing in Santa Barbara

In recent pictures, Prince Harry and Meghan can be seen laughing and enjoying themselves. When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the neighborhood youth organization AHA! Santa Barbara earlier this month, they seemed to be in their element. The couple engaged in open discussions about mental health with teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.


The couple learned firsthand about this generation’s experiences with social media and societal pressures, and how it affects their mental well-being
Photo: Matt Sayles for the Archewell Foundation


The teenagers engaged in frank conversation with Prince Harry and Meghan about social media, looking at how it can be used to connect with others and bringing up issues of insecurity and peer pressure. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s most recent charitable endeavor was captured in fresh photos, which their organization, the Archewell Foundation (AWF), posted on their website on Monday. They claimed it meets frequently with young people and professionals to better understand the difficulties they encounter at work and has a “core belief that mental health is of the utmost importance and underpins all of our work.”


Prince Harry and Meghan pictured during their visit to a local youth group, AHA! Santa Barbara
Photo: Matt Sayles for the Archewell Foundation


Prince Harry and Meghan are both passionate about the subject of mental health because they have previously opened up about their own struggles and experiences. Previously, the Duchess of Sussex opened up about her own mental health on her podcast Archetypes. “I believe that when things were at their worst, I was finally put in touch with a person that, you know, my husband had located a referral for me to call. And I gave her a call,” said Meghan.


The couple posed for a group photo following their hour-long visit
Photo: Matt Sayles for the Archewell Foundation


She was unaware that I had even called her. And she was doing the grocery store checkout. I said, “Hello,” and as I was introducing myself, I could actually hear her saying, “Wait, sorry.” I could hear the little beep, beep. I’m only. This is who? saying I need assistance, um. She was aware of my desperate situation. But I think it’s for all of us to be really honest about what you need and to not be afraid to accept that, to ask for it, Meghan continued.

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Prince Harry attended the coronation on 6 May
Photo: Getty Images


Prince Harry has also made an effort to normalize conversations about mental health. Last year, he stated on the Masters of Scale podcast: “You speak of it here in California, ‘I’ll get my therapist to call your therapist.’ In contrast, in the UK, people ask, “Therapist? The therapist who? What therapy? I’m not seeing a therapist. Absolutely not; I’ve never had therapy sessions.

They paid a visit to the youth group after being seen out for lunch together at a sushi restaurant in Santa Barbara over the weekend. The couple dined with other A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz.


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In recent weeks, Prince Harry flew to the UK to attend his father King Charles’ coronation in London, which fell on his son Archie’s fourth birthday. Harry was welcomed warmly by his aunt Princess Anne during the service. The Duke of Sussex only stayed for the service at Westminster Abbey, but he did leave with a special souvenir. After that, he flew back to his native country to be with his wife Meghan and their two kids, Lilibet Diana and Archie. The Duchess of Sussex was photographed laughing and chatting with her friends while hiking in Montecito the day after the Coronation.

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