The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made a special radio broadcast to raise awareness for Mental Health Awareness week.
Prince William and Kate Middleton called on the nation to help ‘lift someone out of loneliness’ in a 60-second broadcast across more than 500 radio stations in the UK this morning.
In the message, called the Mental Health Minute, Kate said: ‘If you think someone you know might be feeling lonely, just give them a ring, send them a text or knock on the door.’
She added: ‘Because these small acts of kindness can make a big difference and help us all feel less lonely.’
William suggested ‘meeting for a coffee or a walk’ as ways to do this.
He said the pandemic and two years of lockdowns have reminded people of the importance of human relationships.
The couple apologised for interrupting all of the UK’s radio stations, which united to play the message simultaneously at 10.59am this morning.
An estimated 20 million listeners would have heard the broadcast.
But Kate added: ‘If we interrupt the lives of those who are feeling alone…’
‘We can help lift them out of loneliness,’ William continued.
He added ‘we’re all in different places right now’, with the duchess saying: ‘Not just physically, but mentally.’
The duke said: ‘And we can all feel lonely sometimes,’ with Kate commenting: ‘No matter who – or where – we are.’
The pair were pictured sitting on a sofa to record their message, with a family photo in the background showing them and their three children, which was their 2020 Christmas card picture.
William’s script was resting on an Earthshot book in front of them, and Kate’s on her Hold Still pandemic photography book.
The Our Planet: The One Place We All Call Home children’s book, which accompanied Sir David Attenborough’s Netflix documentary series, could also be seen next to them.
New research from the Community Life Survey, released alongside the message, showed more than one in 10 young people (11%) feel lonely often or always. This would make them the loneliest of all age groups.
A YouGov poll also found 18- to 24-year-olds are also the least comfortable asking for help. Six out of 10 (59%) say they would not feel comfortable doing so if they feel lonely.
And almost seven out of 10 (67%) in the same age group feel loneliness is not taken seriously by society – but 71% say they would reach out to someone to help them overcome loneliness.
Kate and William have supported the mental health minute – created by Radiocentre and the Royal Foundation – for five years, but this is the first time they have been sole speakers.
Nigel Huddleston, minister for civil society and youth at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are great champions of mental health awareness and we’re hugely grateful to have their support through the Mental Health Minute.
‘We know loneliness is having a disproportionate impact on our young people and this campaign offers easy to use guidance people can follow to improve their wellbeing.’
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