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Prince William takes his fight against mental health to Belfast

Yesterday, the Duke of Cambridge spent the day in Belfast to help continue the fight against reducing the stigma around mental health.

Running the trip solo as the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child, Prince William visited Inspire, a mental health charity.

Inspire is a charity which works on promoting mental wellbeing throughout Ireland.

Prince William heard from young football players about building mental resilience through sport.

The programme in County Armagh is run by former Manchester United Player Pat McGibbon. In 1993, his brother Philip committed suicide.

Speaking to BBC, McGibbon was pleased to see the passion the Duke of Cambridge has for mental health, saying: “It’s very important to him and I can totally understand that.

“He was very personable in everything he said and it was great for him to give up that time and interact with the adults and the kids.”

The Duke also heard from students of Our Lady and St Patrick’s College. The pupils have created a student-led project to bring light to mental health issues in and around the school.

One of the school’s teachers, Nicola McCarry spoke of how Prince William listened to what the students had to say:”He asked would this project be across all schools in Northern Ireland, and while there are pockets of very good practice there, I suppose mental health being completely embedded into the curriculum is still a box we have to tick.

“But he said this is where it starts really. He was very interested in what the young people had to say and their views.”

He then officially opened Inspire’s new office after meeting with mental health counsellors.

From there, Prince William travelled to the Titanic Quarter to visit Lagan Search and Rescue lifeboat service.

As a former search and rescue helicopter pilot himself, Prince William watched a demonstration involving a lifeboat, rescue swimmers and a quayside response. Additionally, he named the new lifeboat ‘Ray of Hope’.

Today, Prince William will attend a private dinner for the Irish Guards Association.

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