Prince William and Kate Middleton back new mental health guidance amid coronavirus shutdown

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge urged the nation to look after their mental health amid COVID-19 lockdown
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  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have urged the public to look after their mental health while in self-isolation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Both Prince William and Duchess Kate are backing a new Public Health England initiative, which gives helpful tips on how to look after your own wellbeing, as well as that of children and other dependants during the shutdown.

    The Duke and Duchess said, ‘The last few weeks have been anxious and unsettling for everyone. We have to take time to support each other and find ways to look after our mental health.

    ‘It is great to see the mental health sector working together with the NHS to help people keep on top of their mental wellbeing. By pulling together and taking simple steps each day, we can all be better prepared for the times ahead.’

    Mental Health Minister Nadine Dorries, who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, announced the news on Sunday.

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    Catherine and I were proud to visit staff working at NHS 111, to pass on our personal thanks, along with those of my grandmother and father, to staff working around the clock to provide care and advice to those that need it most. • The last few weeks, and more recent days have been understandably concerning with the continuing spread of coronavirus. • But it’s at times like this when we realise just how much the NHS represents the very best of our country and society – people from all backgrounds and walks of life with different experiences and skills, pulling together for the common good. • Not only are NHS staff and emergency workers responding to the needs of the public, they – like the rest of us – are concerned about their families, friends and loved ones. • They need our support as much as we need theirs. • All of us have a part to play if we’re going to protect the most vulnerable. • That means acting on the latest expert advice, staying home if we or those we live with have symptoms, and avoiding non-essential contact to help reduce the spread of the virus. • — The Duke of Cambridge

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    The guidance, which can be found on the website, offers tips on staying in touch with family and friends via video calls and social media, as well as establishing a regular routine and a healthy sleep pattern or starting a new hobby.

    The Health Minister also announced an additional £5million in funding to leading mental health charities to expand their services.

    Health Minister Nadine said, ‘When I discovered I had coronavirus I felt anxious and scared. For those who already suffer with anxiety or other mental health issues this may present new and difficult challenges.

    ‘It’s imperative that we stay home if we are to beat coronavirus and save lives. I know how important it is that people have support to look after their mental health and this guidance will be of huge value.’

    Prince William and Duchess Kate have been engaged with the mental health sector since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

    Earlier this month, the Duke spoke to Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, and the Duchess spoke to Catherine Roche, CEO of Place2Be, to hear about the issues they are facing.

    Mind is one of a consortium of charities preparing to adapt and increase their services. They are reaching out to vulnerable groups including older adults and people with underlying health conditions, and also anyone experiencing unstable employment and housing conditions.

    Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said, ‘Reaching out to friends and family is critical, as well as paying attention to the impact our physical health can have on our mental health – from diet and exercise to getting enough natural light and a little fresh air.’

    He added, ‘Whether we have an existing mental health problem or not, we are all going to need extra help to deal with the consequences of this unprecedented set of circumstances.’