Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tell nation to 'keep talking' as they lead mental health minute

·Royal Correspondent
·4 min read

Watch: William and Kate urge UK to 'keep talking' about mental health

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge encouraged the nation to "keep talking" as they led celebrities in a mental health minute across UK radio stations.

Each year, community, commercial and BBC stations across the country play the same message at 10.59am on the Friday of Mental Health Awareness week, reaching an estimated 20m people.

William and Kate led the message following a day of engagements in Wolverhampton where they visited various projects helping young people with their wellbeing and supporting good mental health.

The script for the minute was written by poet and mental health activist Hussain Manawer. 

In William's line, he told people to "keep talking" while Kate said it was mental health which "binds us together".

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MAY 13: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge take part in a gardening session during a visit to The Way Youth Zone on May 13, 2021 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Jacob King - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
William and Kate in a gardening session during their visit to The Way in Wolverhampton. (Jacob King - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Read more: Prince Harry's outburst against Charles likely to deepen rift with William

The duke said: "So, as we come to the end of this Mental Health Awareness Week, it would be great to keep talking."

He was followed by singer Anne Marie who said: "To a loved one, friend or colleague, let’s keep making the conversation accessible.”

Kate was next and said: "Because our mental health binds every single one of us together."

Also featured in the broadcast were chef Jamie Oliver, England footballer Jesse Lingard and actor Joanna Lumley.

Dame Shirley Bassey began the poem, saying: "Every radio station across the nation right now in this very moment is singing the same song."

Lumley said: "That’s right, we’re all broadcasting the same energy."

Watch: Prince William and Kate visit Animal Assisted Therapy group

Game of Thrones actor Charles Dance said: "Transmitting much-needed empathy we’re all hitting the same notes" and David Beckham followed with: "Taking time to reflect, through the most challenging of years coming together, to share understanding, love and hope."

The broadcast comes after William's brother Prince Harry shared more about his own mental health journey on a podcast with Dax Shepard, discussing how he wanted to break the generational cycle of pain and suffering which he got from his father, Prince Charles.

The Duke of Sussex, who now lives in California, was promoting his docu-series with Oprah Winfrey, called The Me You Can't See, which will explore a range of mental health issues.

In the UK, William and Kate have spent time this week highlighting mental health schemes across the country.

On Thursday the royal couple could not resist showing their competitive side as they played one another at table tennis at The Way Youth Zone, with William also trying out some football skills and Kate giving archery a go.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MAY 13:  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holds a chameleon as she joins a group of local school children from Loxdale Primary School during a visit to HugglePets in the Community to mark mental health awareness week on May 13, 2021 in Wolverhampton, England. HugglePets in the Community works with over 25 different schools in the Black Country, offering Animal Assisted Intervention programmes supporting children with their mental wellbeing on topics including anxiety, low mood, confidence and resilience building and suicide awareness.  (Photo by Adrian Dennis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Kate with a bearded drago as she joined a group of local school children from Loxdale Primary School during a visit to HugglePets in the Community. (Adrian Dennis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MAY 13: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge handles Gus the Guinea Pig as he joins a group of local school children from Loxdale Primary School during a visit to HugglePets in the Community to mark mental health awareness week on May 13, 2021 in Wolverhampton, England. HugglePets in the Community works with over 25 different schools in the Black Country, offering Animal Assisted Intervention programmes supporting children with their mental wellbeing on topics including anxiety, low mood, confidence and resilience building and suicide awareness.  (Photo by Adrian Dennis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
William was taken with Gus the Guinea Pig during the visit to HugglePets in the Community. (Adrian Dennis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Earlier in the week, Kensington Palace released a phone call Kate held with one of the entrants of her lockdown photography project Hold Still, in which she spoke to a student about the particular challenges they had faced during the last year.

The Cambridges have worked on mental health projects through the Royal Foundation for several years, launching Heads Together with Prince Harry back in 2016.

They also launched Shout 85258, a 24/7 text-based helpline, which the mental health minute was in support of.

Victoria Hornby, chief executive officer of Mental Health Innovations, the charity behind Shout 85258, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Shout is being highlighted in this year’s Mental Health Minute.

"It has been an incredibly tough year for so many people and it’s more important than ever that anyone who is feeling worried or overwhelmed knows where to turn, to reach out for help.

"Our service is here 24/7 for people to have a free, confidential text conversation with one of our trained volunteers who will listen without judgment, help you feel calm and find a way forward. Just text SHOUT to 85258 at any time of day or night; we’re here for you."

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