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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle visit Nigeria, share mental health message with students

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Harry and Meghan are spending three days in Nigeria.

Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, are no longer working royals, having stepped away from the role four years ago, but for the next several days, the Sussexes are on a trip that looks similar to their royal tours of the past.

On Friday, Harry and Meghan, who now live in California, kicked off a three-day visit to Nigeria, a country in West Africa that they are both visiting for the first time.

Harry and Meghan’s visit has no affiliation with Britain’s royal family, and is instead at the invitation of the country’s Chief of Defense Staff, its highest-ranking military official.

Their three-day visit will have the couple interacting with not only military officials but also locals, including women leaders and servicemen and women.

On Friday, Harry and Meghan visited a school in the capital city of Abuja together, kicking off an inaugural mental health summit run by a local nonprofit, GEANCO, which is affiliated with their Archewell Foundation. The couple was serenaded with cheers and dancing by the children.

Harry spoke to the students and teachers about why it’s important to break the stigma around mental health and acknowledge how you feel.

“Every single person in this room, the youngest, the oldest, every single person has mental health. So therefore, you have to look after yourself to be able to look after other people. And other people have to be able to look after themselves, to look after you. That’s the way it works. And there is no shame to be able to acknowledge that today is a bad day, OK?” Harry told the crowd.

He added, “[If] you woke up this morning feeling sad, and you left school feeling stressed, and you’ve lost a loved one in your family, and you don’t know who you talk to or who to speak to — all of these things you may be led to believe are not for conversation, we are here today to tell you that that is not the case. Every single one of those things is completely normal. It is a human reaction, whether it’s grief, stress, whatever the feeling is, it comes from an experience that you have had. You can have it. She can have it. I can have it. They can have it. Every single one of us is likely to have that on any given day. So, if you take anything away from today, just know that mental health affects every single person in the entire world.”

While visiting a kindergarten class, the children had the couple on their feet again for a joyous game of “jump up, turn around.”

Harry asked a student, “Is singing and dancing your favorite class?”

Meghan added that their daughter Lili, who is about to turn 3, also loves “all the jumping around.”

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