It’s been a busy week for the royals, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcoming their first child, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge traveling to Wales for a day of engagements, and Prince Harry visiting the Hague to launch an Invictus Games 2020 countdown. And now, both royal couples are coming together to launch an initiative that speaks to an issue they’ve long championed: mental health awareness.
The Cambridges and Sussexes have teamed up to debut Shout, a text messaging service available 24/7 to those struggling with mental health in the U.K. The program pairs users with trained volunteers to help those in need “move from a moment of crisis to a calm state and form a plan for next steps to find longer-term support,” according to a Kensington Palace announcement.
Shout is a part of the Royal Foundation’s Heads Together initiative, a campaign established in 2016 that works with a variety of charities to break the stigma around conversations surrounding mental health issues.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a joint statement about Shout:
“We are incredibly excited to be launching this service, knowing it has the potential to reach thousands of vulnerable people every day. Over the last few months Shout has started working quietly behind the scenes. We have all been able to see the service working up close and are so excited for its future. At the heart of this service will be an incredible national volunteer community, one which needs to grow to allow us to support more people in crisis. We hope that many more of you will join us and be part of something very special.”
Prince William also appears in a launch video for the service, discussing the work that went into the launching the program. “Over the past few months, Shout has started working quietly behind the scenes,” he says. “Harry, Meghan, Catherine and I have been able to see the service working up close, and are very excited for its future.”
Shout already has a volunteer base of 1,000, but the organization hopes to increase that to 4,000 by the end of 2019. Prince William closes his message with a final call to action: “This will make a huge difference to people’s lives, and I really hope you will come and join our team.”
Source: Harpers Bazaar