The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will tell the nation “we’re in this together” in a video aimed at supporting the country’s mental well-being during the coronavirus outbreak.
William and Kate will sympathise with those in lockdown, with the duke saying: “It’s not always easy. We can feel frustrated, miss loved ones or get anxious.”
The Cambridges, who have made mental health campaigning a major part of their public work, have narrated a video, due for release on national TV on Monday, which will highlight new advice on Public Health England’s (PHE) Every Mind Matters website.
PHE has launched new guidance after the Office for National Statistics Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, which aims to understand the impact of the outbreak on British society, found 84% of those questioned worried about the effect the pandemic is having on their lives.
Just over half said it was affecting their well-being.
The range of new resources include a tailored Covid-19 mind plan, and support for specific mental well-being issues like anxiety, stress, low mood and trouble sleeping.
The website signposts people to activities such as mindful breathing exercises, help “reframing” unhelpful thoughts, and muscle relaxation.
As images of deserted streets are shown, then carers being clapped by the nation, William says in the video: “All over the country people are staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
“It’s not always easy. We can feel frustrated, miss loved ones or get anxious.”
Kate takes over to say: “So now, more than ever, Every Mind Matters. There are things we can all do to look after our mental well-being at this time.”
The duke adds: “Every Mind Matters can help get you started with your NHS online plan. Showing you simple steps to help deal with stress, boost your mood and feel on top of things.”
The duchess says: “Search Every Mind Matters to get your action plan today”, and the couple both say the final words: “We’re in this together.”
It comes after the duke and duchess chaired a round-table call on April 8 in which they thanked mental health workers for supporting those who are struggling.
Ten charities and organisations were represented in the call, and included Victoria Hornby, chief executive of Mental Health Innovations.
She said: “One of the issues is the overwhelming information about coronavirus and that people may view their mental health struggles as being unimportant in the context of the other things that are going on.
“I think it’s really important to put out messages saying that we do want to hear from those facing mental health challenges and that they do still deserve and need the support that they would require at any other time.”
Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind, said: “The collaborative spirit across the sector is really positive at the moment but I think that there will be a need in the coming months to think about how we can come together to offer something that’s even greater than the sum of our parts.”
Alongside the new mental health support, Every Mind Matters encourages people to complete a personal Mind Plan, a quick and free interactive tool offering tailored mental well-being advice.
The NHS-endorsed content has been developed in partnership with clinicians, academics and leading mental health charities and social enterprises including Mind, Mental Health Foundation, Samaritans, Rethink and Mental Health First Aid England.
Baking star Nadiya Hussain said communicating with her friends and family helps her cope: “For me, reaching out to people, talking to my loved ones, helps manage it.”
England footballer Jesse Lingard said: “I’m doing yoga twice a week at home to look after my mental health. Speaking to my family on a regular basis is also really helpful as they give me support and make me feel connected.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who completed self-isolation after contracting Covid-19, said: “It’s vital that we all look after our mental health in these challenging times, so today we are launching new guidance on the NHS Every Mind Matters website which is tailored to help people deal with this outbreak through practical tips and advice.
“Whether it’s through exercise, keeping to a routine, or trying something new, there is so much we can do to keep our minds healthy and prevent issues becoming more serious, and I’d encourage everyone to take advantage of this brilliant resource.”