Meghan’s mum sent heartwarming message as Duchess struggled with suicidal thoughts
Meghan Markle’s mum took part in charity run for suicide prevention in a heartwarming gesture as her daughter privately struggled with mental health. The full extent of Meghan’s troubles – including how she “didn’t want to be alive anymore” – were revealed in her interview with Oprah Winfrey two years later.
Mum Doria Ragland’s passion for the cause was clear in September 2019, when she took on the 21st Annual Alice and Running 5k for Suicide Prevention in Los Angeles.
It was nine months after Meghan first let Prince Harry know she was in a very dark place.
The Duchess of Sussex has said her mental health plunged after an intense wave of media coverage towards the end of 2018.
Doria, who is close to Meghan, was aware of her feelings, though details only emerged in the public domain around two years later in the Oprah interview.
Meghan said during the televised interview in March 2021: “I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry, especially, because I know how much loss he’s suffered.
“But I knew that if I didn’t say it, that I would do it. And I… I just didn’t… I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.
“And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. And I remember how he just cradled me.”
She added: “I went to the institution…and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help.
“I said that ‘I’ve never felt this way before and I need to go somewhere.’ And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”
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The Duchess said at the time that she wanted to make the information public because she didn’t “want anyone to feel alone”.
But she first told her husband ahead of a planned appearance at the Royal Albert Hall in January 2019.
Her mother’s charity run came nine months later, while Meghan and Harry were on a tour of Southern Africa.
Doria said on the Netflix docuseries Harry and Meghan: “I remember her telling me that. That she had wanted to take her own life and that really broke my heart because I knew… well I knew that it was bad.
“But to just constantly be picked at by these vultures, just picking away at her spirit. That she would actually think of not wanting to be here, that um… that’s not an easy one for a mum to hear.
“And I can’t protect her. H can’t protect her.”
During an interview at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City in December, Meghan said mental health can be an issue when “you don’t see a way out”.
Harry, who was by her side, said: “We live in this world now where sharing experiences and sharing stories has an enormous impact.”
He added that is particularly important to share your story if “you are in a position of influence, leadership, or otherwise”, adding that he and Meghan want to be “advocates of healing”.
US: If you or a loved one needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255
UK: For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.