Prince William has released a surprise message thanking frontline workers as he encouraged them not to put on a brave face amid the pandemic.
William and his wife Kate launched Our Frontline in April, an initiative from leading charities and organisations to provide round-the-clock mental health support to everyone from teachers and nurses to bus drivers.
The couple has frequently campaigned on mental health issues, and said they would make the good mental health of frontline workers their priority through lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now William, 37, has released a video on the initiative’s social media to thank workers for what they have been doing and encourage them to use the resources available if they’re struggling.
He said: “I want to say a huge thank you from myself and Catherine for all you are doing to keep everyone safe.
“You and your families are making huge sacrifices, and we want you to know that the whole country is enormously proud of you.
“The challenges you are facing, day in, day out, are unprecedented. Even in normal circumstances, frontline work can take its toll not just on your physical health, but also on your mental wellbeing.
“From my time with the air ambulance, I know all too well how determined frontline workers are to put on a brave face and keep going.”
He continued by saying it was easy to forget to “take care of yourself too” when spending all day looking after others.
The father-of-three said: “It’s ok to say when you’re not feeling ok. There is support available to you if and when you need it.”
Our Frontline is a combination of one-to-one support and online resources for any NHS workers, carers, emergency services personnel and key workers whose psychological wellbeing comes under pressure.
Frontline staff and key workers can call or text a trained volunteer and access specially developed online resources, tool kits and advice to support their mental health.
The duke has experienced similar tolls on his mental health as doctors and other NHS staff, as he spent time working as an air ambulance pilot in East Anglia.
He’s previously spoken about how several traumatic emergencies involving children and having his own children “tipped me over the edge”.
But he said speaking to his crew helped him cope with the “enormous sadness” that he had witnessed.
Kate, 38, and William, are working from home like the rest of the nation, and marked the first anniversary of their crisis text line Shout last week.
On Monday they teamed up with celebrities including Anthony Joshua and Dua Lipa to voice the mental health minute.
The broadcast went out across radio stations all over the UK, and encouraged people to open up to their friends.
Frontline workers can text ‘FRONTLINE’, ‘BLUELIGHT’ or KEYWORKER’ to 85258 for support.