Royals join forces for first time to launch 24/7 mental health helpline
10 May 2019, 12:13 | Updated: 10 May 2019, 12:37
The Royals have launched a new initiative specifically for young people struggling with mental health problems
The Royals have launched the project ‘Shout’ which is a 24/7 text messaging helpline for anyone struggling with their mental health.
Based on service Crisis Text Line which has been operating in the U.S. since 2013, the free U.K.-wide helpline will allow people to open up a text chat with a trained volunteer to talk through their problems.
The project already has 1,000 trained volunteers, with the initiative hoping to recruit 4,000 by the end of the year.
William and Kate attended the official Shout launch at Kensington Palace on Thursday, May 9 while Harry was in the Netherlands and new mum Meghan stayed at home with baby Archie.
In a joint statement, the royal four said: “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.”
They continued: "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."
The royals’ Foundation has given £3 million to help start the service up, which is their biggest investment in a project to date.
Addressing the importance of Shout at the launch event, The Duchess of Cambridge said: “It’s able to offer support when it’s crucially needed, and the opportunity to turn lives around. It also provides that wonderful opportunity for flexible volunteering, something I feel really passionate about too.”
The royals have been fighting to end the stigma surrounding mental health for a few years having launched their ‘Heads Together’ campaign in 2016.
If you’re in need of support from Shout, simply text ‘shout’ to 85258, while information about the service and volunteering can be found at giveusashout.org.