As part of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry’s #headstogether campaign to bring attention to mental health, Prince William has opened up about how suicide has affected him.
As a pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance, Prince William has been around suicide- his first ever call being a male suicide that made the prince realise just how big the problem was.
A fact that not only shocked Prince William but many that hear it; suicide is number one cause of death of men under 45-years-old in the United Kingdom. Seventy-six per cent of all suicide victims are men.
While at the launch of an emergency services and transport industry joint venture on preventing male suicide by bringing together those who deal with issue, arranged by the Campaign Against Living Miserable (CALM), Prince William said: “In some of my charity work I have come across issues like this before and, coupled with my air ambulance work where my first job was a male suicide, I realised starkly how big a problem we have in this country.
“It was really close to me on that first day. One of the guys told me that they have five suicides or at least attempted suicides a day in East Anglia alone.
“I like to think I am fairly well tuned into the charitable world but I hadn’t heard about this at all.
“We need to do something about it as you all well know and I am committed to do that. My thing really is to get more men talking about their issues before it is too late and to stop feeling so strong and unable to seek help.
“It can destroy families, it can destroy lives.”
Later Prince William visited the RNLI Tower Lifeboat Station to meet those who often deal with male suicide. In the last 24 hours alone, they had responded to three suicide attempts on the River Thames, all which were male.
Last year the crew had over 500 call outs, over half of them were suicide attempts.
The team of 10 full-time staff and 55 volunteers who watch over the station 24 hours a day have saved eight men and women from the water since the start of 2016. Once a person hits the water, the team has about three minutes to rescue them alive, having to launch the lifeboat within 90 seconds of getting the call.