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On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced that the Royal Foundation is partnering with charities Mind, Samaritans, Shout U.K. and Hospice U.K. to assist frontline workers who may be struggling with their mental health amid the coronavirus pandemic through a program called Our Frontline.
“Each of these organisations will be providing expertise in their relative field, to support the extraordinary people on the frontline responding to COVID-19 in the UK, and supporting the mental health sector as it responds to the immediate and long-term mental health consequences of the pandemic,” the couple shared in an announcement on Instagram.
The goal is to have trained volunteers who will be available via call or text to provide advice and mental health support for anyone in the frontline community who seeks it out.
The post came along with a statement from William that read: “Over the past few weeks, millions of frontline workers across the UK have put their physical and mental health on the line to protect us all during the Coronavirus pandemic. Every day they confront traumatic situations at the same time as having to contend with their own worries about the risks to themselves and their families. Catherine and I, together with The Royal Foundation, will do all we can to support Our Frontline.”
A royal source told People that the idea was born out of William and Kate both visiting and hearing from countless representatives in the mental health community who foresee trouble ahead when it comes to the mental health of frontline workers.
“The Duke and Duchess have been hearing from representatives of mental health organizations and talking with frontline workers and hospital staff about what they need and are committed to do what they can to support the mental health charities,” the source told the outlet. “Both of them have been instrumental in convening the sector and helping bring partners together.”
As of Wednesday morning, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 2,580,729 people across 185 countries and territories, resulting in over 178,371 deaths. In the U.S., all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, tallying over 825,306 illnesses and at least 45,075 deaths.