I understand that most of us have read a plethora of articles around the Meghan Markle interview. It would be easy to speak of the drama and anticipation of the event, but I wanted to write through the lens of accessibility. What I concluded from Meghan’s interview with Oprah had little to do with the drama of it all, and much to do with the means of accessing mental health resources and being denied those resources.
I didn’t need the interview to solidify or strengthen my thoughts about Meghan and Harry. In fact, I have no reason to either worship them or despise them. I have no expertise on their lives, yet I found myself saving the Oprah interview in my Google calendar.
The interview resurfaced my thoughts about depression and family ties. I simply thought about my life and the corroding family ties I experienced following the death of my father. Unfortunately, the drama that ensued adversely affected my overall mental health and by extension any person I ever dated. Trust is a difficult concept to grasp when the individuals who are meant to support you fail to react appropriately when you need them to. That is what I grasped from this interview.
What transpired in my life involved the person I loved the most being vilified, her character being demolished, and the truth becoming an afterthought. I observed Meghan’s mannerisms during that interview and listened to her story, and what I saw was my mother, myself, and the many women who deserve to be listened to but are denied such a simple request.
I understood her because in a sense I am her. When your mental health is negatively affected by the ones you call family, it is instinctive to remove yourself from the situation, and that is what Meghan and her family did. Mental health advocates often counsel people on removing themselves from the events that cause harm. It is the ultimate goal, is it not? So, when Meghan and her family left the Institution, such an action seemed so understandable to me.
What people don’t seem to understand is by invalidating Meghan’s feelings, you’re telling every person out there that they should be quiet and mask the truth even if it’s at the expense of their mental health. Meghan was not only lacking support, but she was also prevented from accessing the support she needed.
I’m sure the world is going to be – if it is not already – oversaturated by Meghan and Harry gossip, and although I don’t want to add to that, I did want to reflect on why it’s important to me and why it should be important for everyone. When we deny people mental health services, we’re denying their existence. You don’t have to believe Meghan to understand that no one should be denied the service we all fight for and strive to promote.