Kate Middleton and William discuss Shout service with family
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Kate and Prince William spoke to 12-year-old Jack – whose name has been changed to protect his privacy – and his family about how the charity Shout has supported the boy at a pivotal moment in his life. Aged only 12, Jack started suffering from such severe anxiety and was struggling to cope.
During the video chat, the family explained how things had become so difficult for the boy, unbeknown to his loving parents, that one evening he decided to end his life.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge heard how Shout, the 24/7 messaging service providing help to anyone struggling to cope, supported Jack during those tragic moments.
The boy reached out to the charity while standing on a bridge, and a volunteer listened to him and helped him find the courage to call the police for help, effectively preventing Jack from ending his life.
Jack’s father told Kate and William: “We have no doubt that what happened between Shout when he was stood on that bridge was enough to save his life and now it sounds so abstract and bizarre, slightly, but when we reflect on it, we know the conversation that Shout have had with our son was pivotal in him not doing anything that he would regret later. That is amazing.”
Kate replied saying: “I can’t imagine, as parents ourselves, I can’t imagine what it’s been like for you and – you know, it’s every parent’s worst nightmare receiving the call that you did own that night.”
Prince William also said: “Shout has effectively bridged that gap between a point of crisis and despair and brought him back to give him the peace and calm for a time to just work things out and find the support.”
Jack, who has since been able to receive the help he needed, also joined in the conversation with the Cambridges.
The boy agreed with the Duke that having a conversation with Shout over text, rather than talking out loud, made it easier to be open about difficult emotions.
He also told Kate and William that more children and young people should learn about mental health, and learn how to talk to others about their feelings.
Asked by the Duchess if he thinks there should be more awareness for young people around mental health, the boy said: “It’s a subject that’s ignored quite a lot in some schools.
“So, awareness in that sense, and making it so people can relate to you as well.”
Kate replied: “That it’s something that is made to feel familiar and just part of everyday life, it’s proved really hard and I really agree with you that within schools, if it is normalised and made part of life and school life so that when people are going through a hard time, they know how to talk about it.”
Shout 85258 was launched in May 2019, backed by both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Staff and volunteers at this organisation has so far had more than 500,000 conversations with people who are anxious, stressed, depressed, suicidal or overwhelmed and feel they are in need of immediate support.
The charity has become increasingly critical throughout the pandemic as, thanks to the fact that it is a digital service, it has been able to operate as normal over the past year.
For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.
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