The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today supported their support of a new mental health network to assist primary workers in the fight against the corona virus.
The Royal Foundation of William and Kate formally supports a new initiative called “Our Frontline” that will provide leading charities and organizations with 24-hour mental health support to everyone from NHS staff to bus drivers.
The pair say supporting primary workers during the Covid-19 pandemic will be their “ top priority ” in the coming months.
The Duke of Cambridge, 37, who has worked as an air ambulance pilot in the past, said: ‘In recent weeks, millions of frontline workers in the UK have put their physical and mental health on the line to protect all of us during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Royal Foundation of William and Kate formally supports a new initiative called ‘Our Frontline’, which aims to support frontline workers. Here, William and Kate are depicted with the Queen celebrating her 94th birthday yesterday
“Every day they are confronted with traumatic situations and at the same time with their own concerns about the risks for themselves and their families.
“It takes quite a toll, and as I’ve seen myself working with the air ambulance, without the right support at the right time, the challenges they face will only increase.
“Catherine and I, along with the Royal Foundation, will do everything possible to support Our Frontline.
“This work will be our top priority in the coming months.”
The project will combine one-to-one support and online resources for NHS staff, caregivers, rescuers and key individuals whose psychological well-being is under pressure.
Charities Mind, Samaritans and Hospice UK will all be involved in the initiative, as will Shout – an SMS helpline that supports people in crisis.
The Our Frontline project, supported by William and Kate (pictured), will combine one-to-one support and online resources for all NHS employees, caregivers, emergency services and key employees
William and Kate’s charity will help raise awareness about the new resource.
Frontline and key staff can call or text a trained volunteer and access specially developed online resources, toolkits and advice to support their mental health.
The Duke, whose grandmother became Queen 94 yesterday, has experience of the same conditions as doctors, nurses and other health professionals as a pilot at the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
He has spoken in the past about the mental pressures associated with the job.
In a 2018 interview, William said that the experience of attending various traumatic emergencies involving children and that his own children “ pulled me over the edge ” but speaking to his crew helped him “ feel the enormous grief ” to cope with what he had witnessed.
Later on Wednesday, the Duke will chair a roundtable discussion with representatives from the emergency relief sector and the NHS to learn more about the mental health challenges facing key workers and how Our Frontline can support them.
The Duke of Cambridge has his own personal experience as a head worker after working for the East Anglian Air Ambulance service
Those on the line include NHS England and NHS Improvement, Faculty of Pre Hospital Care – Royal College of Surgeons, Mind, Lifelines Scotland, Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Fire Fighters Charity, Police Care UK and the Ambulance Staff Charity.
Mind chief chief executive Paul Farmer said: ‘Every day those working in health and social care work 999 services and other vital functions – staff in supermarkets, pharmacies, transportation, catering and cleaning just to name a few – for enormous challenges to their physical and mental health.
“That is why it is so important that they have easy access to information and can contact trained advisers to promote good mental health at any time of the day or night.”