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The Cambridges

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit ‘Give Us A Shout’ volunteer event where William questions if social media firms are doing enough to prevent suicides


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the ‘Give Us A Shout’ volunteer event yesterday at Troubadour White City Theatre where they celebrated the work of Shout volunteers. Shout is a free text-based direct-messaging helpline that will match up people needing support with trained volunteers, and all it takes is a text message. This is the first service of its kind in the UK.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex teamed up in May to launch the new mental health-based initiative that will provide round-the-clock support to people in need.

The Duke said about the Shout text messaging crisis centre, “Catherine and I, and I know I speak for Harry and Megan as well, couldn’t be more proud of what Shout has accomplished.”

He also said, “Catherine and I heard outside about how many of you are waking up at 3 am to answer the peak demand. The fact we’ve had to launch Shout shows just how in need the mental health sector is at the minute. We still have an enormous challenge ahead of us.”

Their Royal Highnesses also spoke to and comforted a father, Ian Russell, whose 14-year-old daughter, Molly, killed herself in 2017 after viewing suicide posts on Instagram.

William asked Mr Russell, “Do you think companies like Instagram are doing enough?” and added, “If we can help you in any way please let us know.”

He responded, “My thoughts on Instagram are, we’re grateful that they’re doing something but I think they’re only really inching along the road, and they need to do a lot more.” He has accused Instagram of “helping to kill” his daughter and says that removing harmful content is easier than the social media giant would like to portray.

Prince William also wrote to Ian Russell and his family earlier this year to express his condolences and offer his support.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.