The Duke of Cambridge has called on frontline workers who may be experiencing mental pressures as they battle coronavirus to seek help.
William has recorded a video message urging those working in the emergency services, hospitals or care homes to “take care of yourself too”.
The message highlights the recently launched Our Frontline initiative, supported by his Royal Foundation, which provides one-to-one support and online resources for a range of workers whose psychological wellbeing may be under pressure.
William said in the video posted on the Our Frontline Twitter account: “I want to say a huge thank you from myself and Catherine for all you are doing to keep everyone safe.
Weâre proud of you. Weâre here to support you. It is ok to ask for help.— Our Frontline (@OurFrontlineUK) May 19, 2020
The Duke of Cambridge sends a message of thanks and support to frontline workers. If you need to talk, reach out today at https://t.co/ZfgBwKXJVC #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #OurFrontline @KensingtonRoyal pic.twitter.com/XK4XrzXsdD
“You and your families are making huge sacrifices, and we want you to know that the whole country is enormously proud of you.
“The challenges you are facing, day in, day out, are unprecedented. Even in normal circumstances, frontline work can take its toll not just on your physical health, but also on your mental wellbeing.
“From my time with the air ambulance, I know all too well how determined frontline workers are to put a brave face on and keep going.”
The duke was a pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance and has spoken in the past about the mental pressures that came with the job.
All frontline workers can reach out to us by texting âFRONTLINEâ, âBLUELIGHTâ or KEYWORKERâ to 85258. Learn more about the support we offer by call or text and access online resources at https://t.co/ZfgBwKXJVC #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #OurFrontline— Our Frontline (@OurFrontlineUK) May 19, 2020
In a 2018 interview, he said the experience of attending traumatic emergencies involving children and having his own children “tipped me over the edge”, but speaking to his crew helped him cope with the “enormous sadness” he had witnessed.
William says in the new video: “When you spend all day taking care of others it is easy to forget that you need to take care of yourself too.
“But it’s OK to say when you’re not feeling OK. There is support available to you, if and when you need it.”
The duke and duchess have pledged to make the mental health of frontline workers battling coronavirus their “top priority” in the months ahead.
Mind, Samaritans, Shout – a text messaging helpline supporting people in crisis – Hospice UK and the Royal Foundation launched Our Frontline a few weeks ago, with William and Kate’s charitable body helping to raise awareness.