The Duke of Cambridge joined Sunday’s Church of England service to promote a message of mental health at the end of Mental Health Awareness Week.
William’s message was recorded from Anmer Hall and read:
“I am delighted to be able to join you today, and I am particularly pleased that this week’s service is focused on the importance of positive mental health and wellbeing.
“Mental health is an issue Catherine and I care passionately about, and we are determined to do all we can to remove the stigma attached to it.
“The impact of coronavirus has been far-reaching, and we shouldn’t underestimate its effects on us, and on those in our families and communities.
“Whether people have lost or are worrying about loved ones, struggling with isolating at home, feeling anxious about job security or working on the frontline – now more than ever, it is important that we talk to one another about the issues we’re struggling with. And it is OK to not feel OK.
“So as we mark the final day of Mental Health Awareness Week, I want to encourage anyone who has concerns about their own mental health or that of others, to reach out. For some, that may be through prayer and quiet reflection, for others it could be talking to a fellow parishioner, friend or family member about how they are feeling.
“Whoever you talk to, connecting with someone and finding the words to open up can be a life-changing step.
“I understand that some people will be worried about burdening other people in the midst of this crisis – but people should not feel afraid to start a conversation. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and it is worthy of attention.
“These are of course challenging circumstances for us all, and like so many others, it has taken us time to adjust to a new way of living. Catherine and I have both found great comfort in the wonderful acts of kindness we have seen happening right across the nation.
“The Christian teachings of faith, hope and love could not be more appropriate as we all try to navigate our way through these uncertain times.
“I want to end by offering mine and Catherine’s gratitude for all that Church of England churches are doing to bring a sense of community, togetherness and peace to all those who are struggling. These connections will be more important than ever in the weeks and months ahead. Thank you.”
Sunday’s service was led by The Reverend Professor Gina Radford, a Vicar in Devon and a former Deputy Chief Medical Officer. Reverend Radford offered up a series of prayers for those struggling with their mental health during the pandemic.
“For some people of faith, this is particularly challenging. Surely, we might ask, my faith should get me through? But we need to face the reality that we are human – we are body, mind and spirit. We are all susceptible to mental ill-health, just as we are to physical ill-health.”
William and Kate have been actively involved in highlighting and promoting mental health causes and charities throughout the pandemic.