The UK’s Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has been volunteering behind the scenes with a mental health hotline to assist those struggling with shelter-in-place orders amid the coronavirus pandemic – as part of the Royal Voluntary Service’s National Health Service (NHS) Volunteer Responders program.
The organization he is currently volunteering for, Shout, was founded by Britain’s young royals, brothers Prince William and Prince Harry and their wives Kate and Meghan, back in May 2019 – following a £3million investment by The Royal Foundation.
I’m going to share a little secret with you guys, I’m actually on the platform volunteering, Prince William told Shout volunteer members during a video call last month, according to CNN.
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, has also been chipping in herself, helping with check-in and chat calls for self-isolators having difficulties dealing with the looming uncertainty surrounding shelter-in-place orders.
The text messaging service aims to provide 24/7 support for people suffering from crises such as suicidal thoughts, abuse, relationship problems, and bullying by connecting them to trained volunteers and helping them find longer-term support in recent months, the organization has shifted their efforts to also cover coronavirus related mental health issues.
The service is particularly aimed at younger people and using text messaging means it is silent and private, allowing people to use it at school, on a bus or at home, the organizers said. A 2017 report estimated that one in eight-five to 19-year-olds in Britain had at least one mental health disorder.
The two princes have been widely praised for speaking out about their own struggles with mental health struggles in the wake of the death of their mother Princess Diana in a 1997 car crash and have made the issue one of their main charitable causes.
The initiative is one of the first to involve the quartet of royals who are joint patrons of the Royal Foundation, their primary vehicle for helping charities and good causes, and which is supporting the Shout scheme.