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Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation Prince Harry
Prince Harry is opening up about how he protects his mental health.
The Duke of Sussex, who has spent the past week cheering on service personnel and veterans at the Invictus Games in The Hague, tells PEOPLE in this week's exclusive cover story that he remains mindful of what information he consumes — especially amid times of conflict.
"For much of my life, I have been in the fortunate position of being able to help others," Harry, 37, says. "As a veteran of conflict, but also simply as a human, I take care of what my mind ingests. Like a digital diet. Cutting out the toxic parts of the online world and the way stories are put in front of us, baiting us, is one way I prioritize my well-being."
The father of two adds, "I also make sure to talk to people, directly, one to one, about what they're going through, and try to learn from their experiences and understanding of the world."
Many of the athletes have credited the Invictus Games with saving their lives by giving them a community that understands and supports them.
"Every time I hear that it goes straight to my core," Prince Harry says. "I really feel it. I feel it with every hug I get from the competitors themselves or their family members. I feel it when they share with me what it means to see their husband, father, wife or mother simply smile again. Sport is the mechanism. Purpose is the potion. Mindset is the medicine."
He continues, "Many of these families have been to the darkest places imaginable. While each story is different and unique, the lessons are more relatable to all of us than they might seem. I am proud to watch their recoveries, but even prouder of their service to others. I believe their presence and resilience is quite literally saving more lives than we'll ever know or hear about."
Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Prince Harry
In 2018, the Duke of Sussex spoke candidly about his experience and the importance of mental health to a crowd of thousands gathered at the closing ceremony at the Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia.
"By simply being here and fighting back from some of the darkest experiences known to anyone, you have become role models for everyone at home or in the stands who might be struggling with their emotions or with a mental illness," he said. "You are showing it's okay not to be okay. And most importantly, you are showing us all that it's okay to ask for help."
"The secret to the success of the #InvictusGames has been accepting that mental health is the real key to recovery." — The Duke of Sussex at the @InvictusSydney Closing Ceremony #IG2018 pic.twitter.com/xfJJMq49D9
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) October 27, 2018
To conclude, he referred to himself as someone who has faced such challenges.
"I've been there, you've been there and we now need to reach out to those who can never even imagine themselves in that place," he encouraged. "When you accept a challenge is real, you can have hope. When you understand your vulnerability, you can become strong. When you are brave enough to ask for help, you can be lifted up. You can start living, doing, feeling — not simply surviving. And when you share your story, you can change the world."