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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge host mental health discussion

Photo: Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hosted a mental health discussion over Zoom last week with a host of charities involved in the Heads Together campaign. The purpose of the call was to discuss how mental health charities can provide support now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how their support will be needed once the pandemic is over.

The participating charities included Mind, CALM, Best Beginnings, Contact Group, Young Minds, The Mix, Action on Addiction, Mental Health Innovations, Place2Be and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

“The roundtable was a crucial decision,” said Graham Beech, Action on Addiction’s CEO in a statement on the charity’s website.

“We are concerned by what we are hearing daily about the many adults, children and families whose lives are already severely affected by addiction and who are now struggling even more with the physical and social restrictions of the coronavirus lockdown.”

Several participating charities posted a statement about the roundtable discussion on their websites, saying that they discussed who “the sector must continue to look at ways to work together and to ensure that people are equipped to support their family and friends during these difficult times, and to have conversations about their mental health both during and after the pandemic” which all anticipate “will have vast and complicated long-term consequences for mental health.”

“There’s never been a more important time to acknowledge the need for us to address the scale of mental health needs,” said Peter Fonagy, CEO of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

“The peak of the crisis in mental health, depression, anxiety and PTSD will come months after the coronavirus infections have subsided. Continued kindness and compassion will help us all to overcome the impact of traumatic experiences and losses, and will enable us to energise our communities and to reach out and provide the best support we can give to children, young people and their families.”

The Mix’s CEO, Chris Martin, said in a statement on the charity’s website, “I believe services like The Mix are crucial at this time to effectively reconnect young people to the sources of support they have lost. I’m delighted The Mix were included in the roundtable with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to talk about the importance of addressing people’s mental health needs during the pandemic and I hope this collaboration will help us to address the huge challenges the sector faces at this time.”

Victoria Hornsby, CEO of Mental Health Innovations, the group that runs SHOUT 85258, said that, “One of the issues is the overwhelming information about coronavirus and that people may view their mental health struggles as being unimportant in the context of the other things that are going on. I think it’s really important to put out messages saying that we do want to hear from those facing mental health challenges and that they do still deserve and need the support that they would require at any other time.”

News of this roundtable discussion came as William and Kate took part in a commercial for television and social media outlining the importance of taking care of one’s mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.

For Every Mind Matters, the royal couple did voiceover work on steps to take for mental health care:

“All over the country people are staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives. It’s not always easy. We can feel frustrated, miss loved ones or get anxious. So now, more than ever, Every Mind Matters.

“There are things we can all do to look after our mental wellbeing at this time. Every Mind Matters can help get you started with your NHS online plan. Showing you simple steps to help deal with stress, boost your mood and feel on top of things. Search Every Mind Matters to get your action plan today. We’re in this together.”

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.