Prince William says talking about feelings is 'essential to emotional and physical health'

Katie O'Malley

The Duke of Cambridge has teamed up with celebrities including Katy Perry, Stephen Fry, and Jameela Jamil to record a radio message to mark the start of mental health awareness week.

The minute-long message was broadcast at 10.59am on Monday 13 May across more than 300 UK radio stations and featured Prince William and his fellow A-listers discussing the importance of listening and the positive role it can play in our mental health.

At the beginning of the message, Perry said "while we are listening, we’re not really listening", before Fry added that "there are people out there who are desperate to be heard".

Prince William joined in the conversation, telling listeners: "Being able to talk about how you’re feeling is essential to keeping emotionally and physically healthy.

"Each and everyone one of us has the power to make a difference."

The message marks a collaboration between Radiocentre, the industry body for commercial radio, and Heads Together, the mental health campaign spearheaded by the duke's Royal Foundation.

The recording comes days after William joined forces with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to launch a text messaging helpline to support those struggling with poor mental health health.

The initiative, dubbed Shout, was formed from a £3m grant donated from the Royal Foundation, the charity that the four royals run together and use to fund various philanthropic projects ranging from wildlife conservation to supporting young people.

Shout aims to help those in need progress from “crisis to calm” by providing them with trained volunteers offering instant support. The service is anonymous, free to use and open 24/7.

Earlier this year, William took part in a panel discussion about mental health at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

During the talk, the royal spoke about his own experiences with mental health in a bid to highlight the important role employers play in promoting health workplaces.

Recalling one particular incident when he worked as an ambulance pilot, William said if he didn’t have supportive colleagues to turn to about the situation, he would likely have “gone down a slippery slope” mentally.

“I still find it very difficult to talk about it,” the father-of-three said.

"I get very emotional about it because it relates very closely to my children and so it is very hard to talk about it.

“I know that if I hadn’t taken the action that I did then, I would have definitely gone down a slippery slope and I would have been dealing with mental illness on a different level.”

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 13-19 May 2019.