‘I wish people knew’ Caring Kate and William touch life of royal fan: ‘More than photo op’

Prince William fighting for his children's' future says expert

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have long been advocates for raising awareness of mental health. In 2019, Prince William and Kate – alongside Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – backed the initiative Shout with £3million from their Royal Foundation.

The free, anonymous text message service connects people experiencing a “tough moment” with trained volunteers.

Now, one Shout volunteer, Alexis Caught, paid tribute to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and said they have a “genuine and real interest” in the topic of mental health.

Writing on Instagram, Alexis said: “What I wish people knew about Kate and William is that their care for this cause is more than just a photo opp.

“I’ve met and talked with them on this issue three times now (lol, plus that Instagram takeover they let me do on their page) and they have such a genuine and real interest in the topic, the challenges and the causes.”

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A post shared by Alexis (@alexiscaught)

Alexis’ praise comes after the charity announced they had taken more than one million conversations with people going through a tough time.

Writing on Instagram, Alexis continued: “To mark the occasion, myself and others sat down with @dukeandduchessofcambridge to talk mental health, the benefits of volunteering, the experiences of Shout, suicide prevention and (of course) LGBTQ+ mental health and how that manifested in the conversations we have on the line (over one third of our crisis conversations are with queer people, and that rises to almost 50 percent for the teens that get in touch with the line).”

In 2020, the Shout initiative became the first organisation to take over the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official Instagram account – hosted by Alexis Caught.

Alexis answered questions from the public throughout the day to mark the first anniversary of the text messaging service.

In a group video call with volunteers, William joked: “It’s the first time we’ve done this, so it’s a big responsibility, Alexis.

“Don’t mess this up!”

The Duke added: “You guys are the trailblazers, you have been doing a fantastic job keeping Shout moving forward, so well done and thank you for all your hard work; we really appreciate it.”

At the launch of the text messaging service at Kensington Palace in 2019, William said: “That is 60,000 moments when people who were feeling scared, frightened and alone were able to use their phone to connect with someone who could support them.”

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With the Duchess of Cambridge adding: “For the last few years, I’ve been focusing much of my work on the importance of prevention in the earliest years of life to help avoid problems in later life.

“But, sadly, for so many, they have already reached a crisis situation.”

Shout was developed by the Royal Foundation, which the couple set up together.

The service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is modelled on the US-based Crisis Text Line, which was launched in August 2013.

The volunteers are supported by clinically-trained supervisors.

Prince William has previously opened up about his own struggles with his mental health following the death of his mother, Princess Diana.

During a BBC TV documentary about mental health, he said: “I’ve thought about this a lot, and I’m trying to understand why I feel like I do, but I think when you are bereaved at a very young age, any time really, but particularly at a young age, I can resonate closely to that, you feel pain like no other pain.

“I felt that with a few jobs that I did, there were particular personal resonations with the families that I was dealing with.”

He described how the emotional aspect of being an East Anglian Air Ambulance pilot was “difficult”, especially having come from the military where feelings tend to be put to one side.

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