Duchess Kate and Prince William announce mental health initiative for frontline workers

By Zach Harper

Duchess Kate and Prince William announce mental health initiative for frontline workers

Prince William and Duchess Kate have launched a new initiative that aims to help frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Our Frontline will provide 24-hour support to health care workers, emergency service providers, those who work as carers and others during this time, allowing them fast and easy access to mental health services. The project has the involvement of British charities Mind, Samaritans, Hospice UK and the Shout text messaging service, which was started by the Cambridges and Sussexes in 2019. It will be backed by The Royal Foundation.

"Over the past few weeks, millions of frontline workers across the UK have put their physical and mental health on the line to protect us all during the Coronavirus pandemic," William said in a statement.

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Today @MindCharity, @SamaritansCharity, @GiveUsAShoutInsta, @Hospice_UK, and The Royal Foundation have come together to provide round-the-clock mental health support to frontline workers. Each of these organisations will be providing expertise in their relative field, to support the extraordinary people on the frontline responding to COVID-19 in the UK, and supporting the mental health sector as it responds to the immediate and long-term mental health consequences of the pandemic. So what does this mean? This means trained volunteers will be on hand, by call or text, as well as specially developed online resources, toolkits, and advice to support the frontline community’s mental health through this challenging time. Visit @OurFrontlineUk to learn more about #OurFrontline.

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He was expected to hold a roundtable discussion with frontline agencies on April 21 to hear more about how the initiative could support them and their needs.

"Every day they confront the traumatic situations at the same time as having to contend with their own worries about the risks to themselves and their families," he continued. "That takes a real toll, and as I've seen for myself through my work with the Air Ambulance, without the right support at the right time the challenges they face will only be greater. Catherine and I, together with The Royal Foundation, will do all we can to support Our Frontline. This work will be our top priority for the months ahead."

MORE: How royals are giving back during the coronavirus pandemic

As he mentioned, the Duke of Cambridge has experience working as an air ambulance pilot, so he knows firsthand about the pressure frontline workers can be under during regular times. The COVID-19 pandemic has put stresses on frontline workers that many have never experienced before, so this service is very needed right now and will do a lot to support those who are giving so much for themselves during this time.

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Catherine and I were proud to visit staff working at NHS 111, to pass on our personal thanks, along with those of my grandmother and father, to staff working around the clock to provide care and advice to those that need it most. • The last few weeks, and more recent days have been understandably concerning with the continuing spread of coronavirus. • But it’s at times like this when we realise just how much the NHS represents the very best of our country and society – people from all backgrounds and walks of life with different experiences and skills, pulling together for the common good. • Not only are NHS staff and emergency workers responding to the needs of the public, they – like the rest of us – are concerned about their families, friends and loved ones. • They need our support as much as we need theirs. • All of us have a part to play if we’re going to protect the most vulnerable. • That means acting on the latest expert advice, staying home if we or those we live with have symptoms, and avoiding non-essential contact to help reduce the spread of the virus. • — The Duke of Cambridge

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Anyone who works in frontline services who needs mental health services during the coronavirus pandemic can call or text one of the Our Frontline volunteers. They'll be able to access resources and the help they need. More information is available at ourfrontline.org.

"Our trained volunteers are a listening ear for anyone, especially those who are putting their mental health under immense short and long-term pressure to provide our frontline against coronavirus," said Ruth Sutherland, Samaritans' CEO, who is a former nurse.

As of this writing, the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine says there have been nearly 2.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 185 countries and regions. Nearly 135,000 of those have been in the United Kingdom. The illness has caused nearly 180,000 deaths worldwide, and more than 696,000 people have recovered from it.

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