This Dog Could Not Contain His Yawn During Prince Harry’s Empowering Mental Health Panel

On Thursday (Mar. 16, 2017), Prince Harry spoke on behalf of his Heads Together mental health campaign, which aims to make mental health services more accessible for veterans, service personnel and families who are dealing with conditions like anxiety and depression.

He was joined by royal marine Phil Eaglesham, who contracted Q Fever (Helmand Fever) during his third tour in Afghanistan, but it was Eaglesham’s Assistance Dog, Cooper, who inadvertently diverted the crowd’s attention when he couldn’t contain his big yawn.

BRITAIN-ROYALS
CREDIT: KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP/Getty Images

Eaglesham says that his four-legged friend makes everyday life just a little bit easier.

“[Cooper] takes away some of the stigma that people have about coming up and speaking to me because I am in a wheelchair,” said Eaglesham.

“Our campaign, Heads Together, is encouraging people to be more open, without the fear of judgment, prejudice or stigma,” Prince Harry explained at the conference. “It starts with a conversation either with a friend, family member or a colleague.”

Other panelists included Ivan Castro, a U.S. Army major who was blinded in Iraq, and Karl Hinett, a U.K. veteran who was severely burned, also while serving in Iraq. Hinett and Castro are running in the 2017 Boston Marathon on Team Heads Together before they take on the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon six days later.

“There is a special relationship between the U.S. and U.K. troops on and off the battlefield. We have trained together. We have fought together. We have bled together and we have healed together,” Castro said, according to ABC News.

“I am proud to be running alongside Karl in the Boston and London marathons next month in support of Heads Together,” Castro continued. “Two marathons in a week will hurt but we are doing this for all veterans and serving brothers who carry the weight of mental health issues every day because we believe that we all feel pressure on our mental health at some point in our lives and, when we understand this the better, we can support ourselves and each other.”

Launch the gallery at the top of the page to view more photos from the conference.