Prince William and Kate have already shown their support for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic with a visit to an NHS control room. And now the couple is throwing their weight behind an initiative that aims to help with the mental health challenges that can be faced as people are asked to stay at home.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have described the last few weeks as “anxious and unsettling for everyone” as they continue their commitment to mental health by endorsing Public Health England’s new advice on how to look after your wellbeing during the outbreak. The organization is publishing new online guidance setting out principles to follow as well as providing advice for parents and carers on how to support children and young people. The guidance has been developed in partnership with mental heath charities which will also receive a £5 million grant to expand their support services.
“The last few weeks have been anxious and unsettling for everyone,” William and Kate said it a statement. “We have to take time to support each other and find ways to look after our mental health. It is great to see the mental health sector working together with the NHS to help people keep on top of their mental well-being. By pulling together and taking simple steps each day, we can all be better prepared for the times ahead.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have long been advocates for mental health awareness and have been speaking with organizations in this field since the start of the crisis. They have released two new images showing them at work inside Kensington Palace to accompany the announcement. William is pictured speaking with Paul Farmer, CEO of charity Mind, on March 18 and Kate is shown talking to Catherine Roche, CEO of Place2Be, on March 19—the same day the couple made their visit to the NHS Call center.
Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, the charity that will administer the £5 million grant, said: “We are facing one of the toughest ever times for our mental wellbeing as a nation. It is absolutely vital that people pull together and do all they can to look after themselves and their loved ones, when we are all facing a huge amount of change and uncertainty…Whether we have an existing mental health problem or not, we are all going to need extra help to deal with the consequences of this unprecedented set of circumstances.”
The Public Health England guidance includes advising people to maintain contact with friends via phone and online, and to keep a regular routine and sleep pattern in addition to focusing on a hobby or learning something new.
William and Kate launched mental health initiative Heads Together alongside Prince Harry in 2016. In 2019, they helped to launch Public Health England’s mental health platform Every Mind Matters.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday, March 23, that people should only leave their homes for a very limited number of reasons, including shopping for essentials and once a day to exercise.