Royal News

Kate and Will’s inspiring message to UK amid coronavirus lockdown

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said the last few weeks have been "anxious and unsettling for everyone" as they look to improve the nation's mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.

Prince William and Kate will be lending their support to a new Public Health England (PHE) initiative, which will give guidance on how to look after your wellbeing.

Tips include establishing a healthy sleep pattern, starting a new hobby and staying in touch with loved ones using video calls and social media.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge 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."

The guidance, which is published on PHE's Every Mind Matters page, was developed with the input of mental health charities and clinically assured by the NHS.

It also has points on how to help children manage stress.

There is also support for those who are already living with a serious mental health problem, such as how to access help from mental health professionals.

PHE said it is issuing guidance to trusts on prioritisation of services and how to maximise the use of virtual channels.

It also said NHS mental health providers are establishing 24/7 helplines.

Mental health minister Nadine Dorries, who was herself diagnosed with Covid-19, also announced an additional £5 million in funding to leading mental health charities to expand their services.

She 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.

Mental Health charity Mind is just one charity which is preparing to adapt and increase its services.

The charity has begun 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."

Today the UK death toll reached 1,019 with 260 deaths linked to Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.



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