The Duke & Duchess of Sussex focus on mental health during the pandemic

Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit army families

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were the first Windsor royals to make any kind of public statement on Covid-19 aka the coronavirus. They made a statement on their SussexRoyal Instagram, promising to share more information about what all of us can do in this moment of pandemic, and they also just showed appreciation for the health care workers and other workers who are helping us get through this moment, as well as just showing empathy for everyone struggling and dealing with isolation and quarantine. We know that one Instagram post was a big deal because the rest of the royal family quickly followed suit: Prince William’s office threw together a video (which looked like it was filmed on a iPhone in a hallway) and posted it within hours. The next day, the Queen finally made a public statement. And then came the mockery from big-name royal reporters like Richard Kay. All because of just one IG post. Well, the Sussexes are still sharing information – their latest post is about mental health in the time of pandemic:

With everything going on, it’s a lot to take in. Many of us may feel confused. Or alone, or anxious or scared…and in isolation, some of us may just feel bored, or that you don’t know what to do with yourself without your normal routine. It’s perfectly normal to be feeling any of these things.

Our emotional well-being is challenged everyday whether we realise it or not, but our lives are usually filled with distractions. Now with constantly changing COVID coverage, we are all adjusting to this new normal and the feelings that come with it. But here’s the good thing (because right now we need to hear good things, right?): Yes, there is isolation and physical distancing, but there doesn’t have to be loneliness.

There are resources that can help us all through this process, and ways that YOU can become one of those resources. @crisistextline @giveusashoutinsta @kidshelpphone and CTL Ireland are organisations that need new volunteers now more than ever and have an open door for you to get the support you need.

– If you’re home and feeling bored, you can digitally train to be a counselor and HELP someone who really needs your support! What an amazing way to use this time

– If you feel alone, overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious, you can text one of these lines and talk it through.

– If you are in an abusive relationship and now find yourself in isolation with your abuser, these counselors are there for you. You do not need to suffer in silence.

And for those of you who don’t feel comfortable texting with a stranger, reach out to your friends, family and colleagues. Phone calls and video conferencing are such a great way to feel more connected – ask if they’re okay, tell them how you’re (actually) feeling, and use this time to really listen for the answer. If there is someone you know and are worried about, your text may be the thing that saves their life.

[From SussexRoyal IG]

The mental health aspect of what we’re going through will be sidelined in the larger conversation, because there’s genuinely so much other sh-t to worry about, like actually dying or the economy crashing or the medical system crashing or all of the above. I feel like Harry and Meghan know this and they’re saying “but this is one thing that we CAN do, and we can bring some positivity.” And honestly, it’s nice. It’s nice to be reminded that despite all of the stress and the lack of toilet paper, we still need to check in on each other no matter what.

Also: I’ve been pointing it out as it happened so often over the past week especially, but the new argument is 100% “Harry needs to abandon Meghan and Archie and come back to England because it’s a National Emergency.” That’s the argument now. I find it pathetic, disgusting and particularly craven for the British media to “use” the coronavirus to try to threaten and badger Harry into “coming home” at this moment. They should be ashamed.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Albert Hall for the  Mountbatten Festival of Music this evening 7 - March - 2020

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.

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126 Responses to “The Duke & Duchess of Sussex focus on mental health during the pandemic”

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  1. Flamingo says:

    You can’t train to be a counselor with a two hour online course. I appreciate the push for mental health initiatives, but telling people to train to be a counselor online when real counselors spend years of their life in a classroom and in observation is a bit rich.

    • MsIam says:

      They are not talking about becoming a licensed therapist. The link they shared is the one to the SHOUT program that they promoted with the Doolittles and the Royal Foundation. It’s staffed by volunteers and they train you. In the US the United Way is promoting the same type of program and asking for volunteers. No need to jump on the Sussexes, this type of program sounds similar to the Suicide Prevention hotline and those people are not licensed therapists. I think this is an important option with so many people trapped at home and alone. And if you are not working and have no income, how can you afford a therapist?

      • MEL says:

        Thank you for this. Funny thing is if the Cambs were the ones promoting this, these same people will praise them into next year. No one raises an eyebrow when Kate is called an expert on early years with zero classroom training. This reflex Sussex criticisms are just boring at this point.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        @ MsIAm

        The Samaritans are also mostly volunteers, non-trained and highly valued.

        It’s a great suggestion from the Sussexes, it’s a shame some people just can’t see past their Sussex Derangement Syndrome.

      • Marie says:

        MSiam and Mel you are both completely right. It’s a shame people can’t see past the hate. What they are suggesting has been around for years and are very much needed at a time like this. It’s not like they are forcing anyone to use this but it is out there if you feel like you need it. I am prepared for anything the Sussex’s post will see a lot of hate regardless of what it is. It’s sad.

      • Unchatenfrance says:

        I remember episodes of both the original 90210 and Saved by the Bell where the characters (teenagers!) volunteered at suicide prevention hotlines. It’s hardly a new or controversial idea.

      • clomo says:

        They said a good thing, it’s so ridiculous they can’t do the most responsible things and not get put down for it. These are innocent actions from a well meaning couple who happened to live under a microscope.

      • Insomia says:

        The Samaritians was started in 1953 in the UK by the Rev Chad Varrah. I became one in the early 80’s you had 6 weeks training covering various topics ie bereavement all given by professionals in their field . You had to have the ability to stay calm ,could give options and as once happened to me keep an od talking til they gave consent to call an ambulance.If someone called and confessed to a crime ie murder you were not supposed to disclose it to police as all conversations were confidential., however I decided I would not comply with this rule. Rewarding yes, draining very 3 years was the average you did it without a break.

    • MEL says:

      I don’t get this idea that they “tell” people to do anything with what they post. Fine, they have some influence, but no one is being forced to follow their suggestions. And if being able to digitally train to be a counsellor of some sort is insulting to real counsellors, it won’t be available online.

      • BabsORIG says:

        Exactly @Mel. People click and go to their page, and have the nerve to criticize what they post on their page. No one is forcing you to read what they have to say. If you don’t like what they’re selling, why even click on them?
        And I hate to break this to some people, yes crisis line workers are called crisis line counsellors. Ask anyone that has ever worked at the Vancouver Crisis Center and they’ll tell you, we are called Crisis Line counsellors. So people need to stop.

    • Nahema says:

      @Flamingo – therapists have been extremely upset about the choice of working by the Sussex’s. Not just the idea that you could train to be a therapist with a quick online course, when actually it takes years at university but also the idea that it’s something to do if you’re bored. I get the idea behind it and online study and self improvement is a great thing to be doing at this time but it really belittles professionals in a field which is already not taken seriously enough, considering how hard they have to train. These same therapists are often self employed and are now really struggling financially.

      While I don’t think this one slip up should detract from the rest of the message, which is important, I do think they should be more careful with their choice of words.

      • GuestWho says:

        If they are therapists, they should have better reading comprehension. They aren’t talking about training as therapists for goodness sakes, they are talking about training as peer couselors on phone calls to guide people to the correct resource.

        It’s not a slip up on the Sussexes part, it’s a slip up on comprehension and people wanting to think the worst.

      • Jensies says:

        I’m a therapist and I have no problem at all with this recommendation. . .I think it’s a lovely thing for people to train a few hours to help others. Maybe they’ll love it and decide to go to school to do it professionally, or maybe they’ll find that they like doing it at a volunteer level. Either way, it’s teaching more people basic counseling/listening/communication/empathy, which is never a bad thing.

      • RestlessLegs says:

        These counselors will probably serve as a listening ear and then offer access to information on services, including the services of licensed therapists. Rather then getting upset I would be looking for how to get involved or partner w this sort of service.

      • MsIam says:

        @Nahema I am not sure why people are up in arms about this. Even in my job I have received training on handling clients who threaten suicide and how to pass on referrals and even when to call 911 if it is an emergency. I am not offering therapy, what I offer is empathy which in a crisis situation is what some people need. If they need more than that, you refer them to organizations in their area or have them call emergency services or even call them yourself. I have never heard of any reputable therapist speaking against this. And let me tell you, with emergency services stretched to the max this type of program is needed more than ever.

      • bettyrose says:

        Anyone in the U.S working in public sector positions serving the public/minors/people at risk, etc. have to take training on how to handle the disclosure of confidential information about violence and abuse. We aren’t trained to “heal” them but on how to listen and share resources. Sure a great therapist would be better, but how many $500/hour therapists are opening call centers right now? A good ear matters too.

      • Ronaldinhio says:

        I’m a therapist I have no issue with them using this term. I trained for 7 yrs to become a therapist.
        What they are suggesting is befriending or offering a listening ear.
        We need levels of care to be available

      • Marigold says:

        Victim advocates can do a large portion of their training online. Non-licensed counselors can also be trained online. Education and new ways to be productive are often recommended “things to do” whilst bored. That doesn’t mean “therapy is something you should do if you’re bored.” That’s…such a leap in logic!

        These jobs (advocates and non-licensed counselors) require someone with empathy and personal skills, but their work is not medical. Their job is to help people access the professional resources to which they are entitled and give them a trustworthy, stable shoulder to lean on while they find the care they need. There’s nothing threatening about it. These kinds of jobs (911 operators, victim advocates, etc.) are about connecting people TO the actual cops and therapists and doctors and social workers they need, and they do it in a supportive, productive way, having a basic training that gives them tools to help in initial stages of crisis or grief or confusion. It’s a beautiful thing for people to engage with, and it saves lives.

        It doesn’t diminish or threaten or insult mental health providers in any way, shape, or form.

    • BabsORIG says:

      @Flaming, yes you CAN train to be a Crisis Line counsellor in 2 hours, what the hell are you talking about? I have been working crisis lines for some time now and I tell you, you have no idea how many lives crisis line counsellors save by just listening and being empathetic.
      @Nahema, if the therapists you know are UPSET about mere wording, I have no words. This is just NOT the time. People that work crisis lines are called counsellors and they are odin amazing work every single day to save the life of a stranger. This is just not the time to be upset about someone telling another to do something if they’re bored because you know what? There are lots of people that become productive when they get bored and have lots of time on their hands. Just y’all need to stop with this word playing game.

    • Jaded says:

      @Flamingo – most crisis hotlines offer training that takes less than 2 weeks. We’re not talking about post-graduate work here. Bell “Let’s Talk” offers great training to deal with a variety of mental health issues.

      @Nahema: Therapists are NOT upset right now, in fact they’re probably dealing with a larger than usual roster of clients who have existing mental health issues and are likely suffering terrible anxiety and depression about what’s happening in the world today. You’re confusing apples with oranges here. Desperate times call for desperate measures and people have a right to get good information and a caring voice on the end of the phone to help them get through a scary time.

    • Yami says:

      This whole, “you can’t train to be a counselor” wail is so stupid. Nobody thinks that you actually can, nor are the Sussexes advocating that. It’s an online volunteer program to do surface-level interactions, people just want to be purposefully dense

  2. Digital Unicorn says:

    Cue the RR’s screaming about how she is stepping onto territory already covered by the great MH campaigners – Cain and Unable.

    The ‘Harry come home now’ narrative is being pushed by RR’s who are brown nosing Cain and Unable. Let’s face it, they will use any means to tear the Sussex’s down and try to make Harry abandon his family to be Cain’s whipping post. The Cambridges and the UK tabloid press will not rest until they have their favourite person to throw under the bus back in their control.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Mental Health work was Harry’s years before W&K grabbed onto his coattails.

      • BabsORIG says:

        @NOta, and the Heads Together Campaign left Kensington Royal (or should I say died) when the Sussexes moved to Windsor beginning of 2019 and separated their court. RIP HT.

    • I really think the rotten Rota do not see Meghan and Archie as human. What kind of human being would put pressure on another to abandon their core family at a time like this. And really, what is it they think Harry can do if he returned? He doesn’t have a miracle cure so all he could do is self isolate at Frogmore. I know the RR are not journalists, they’re barely writers —- but they are really starting to froth at the mouth with stories like this.

      • Feeshalori says:

        I believe the RR want Harry back to be the third wheel again in W&K’s PR antics to be either their support or their scapegoat, whichever way the wind is blowing that day. They’d have a field day with him back in England.

  3. lanne says:

    Abandon his wife and child to come back to the UK to do…what exactly? Is Harry a trained medical professional? No, hes not. So there’s nothing he can do as a member of the RF in the UK other than be a vector, like his idiot brother and his sisterin law. The Uk has plenty of vectors already. What a vile, nasty bunch these RRs are. Before the Sussexes, NO ONE read their columns, and royal reporting was a part-time beat. So what do those morons do? Chase away the only 2 people who could have guaranteed their livelihood for decades to come. Racism. It’s a helluva drug!

  4. NVYwife27 says:

    Become a counselor online?! And they want people to reach out to these poorly trained people???? Especially people in abusive relationships????? How are you saying this is a good idea?!?!

    • MsIam says:

      It’s the same as the Suicide Prevention line. They train you with what to say and then link people to resources in more serious situations. But listen, medical resources are being stretched thin, people are sheltering in place and they have no money to pay for anything. They need someone to tell them they can make it through this. What would you suggest they do? Btw if you go on the United Way website they are promoting a similar program here in the US.

    • LindaS says:

      If you are in isolation with your abuser I doubt they are going to let you sit and talk on a phone with any counsellor, even a properly trained one. You would prob get abused more just for doing that. Thats kind of dangerous advice.

      • MEL says:

        So you would rather they advice people not to reach out all….interesting.

      • LindaS says:

        @mel if you are in isolation with an abuser I doubt you have time to explain, in safety, what is going on. Unless you are in a mansion and can get far enough away from the person this is bad advice. There are faster and safer ways to reach out.

      • MsIam says:

        What is your argument about LIndaS, the Sussexes or just phone counseling in general? Since obviously abusive situations are going to exist outside of the COVID-19 crisis, then according to you no one in an abusive relationship should be on the phone with a counselor. So should we eliminate phone counseling period? What? And again, how is that H&M’s issue? As someone above said, this sounds like Sussex Derangement Syndrome.

      • Anon says:

        “There are faster and safer ways to reach out”? ffs…

      • Olenna says:

        @LindaS, you’re always right ‘on it’ when it comes to the DoS, aren’t you?

      • BabsORIG says:

        @LindaS, many people have been helped to escape dangerous situation. The Crisis Line Counsellors are trained to assess and navigate these situations and work together with the victim in situations like these to get them to safety. Remember one thing, the victim picks up the phone and calls the Crisis line, not the other way round. I’ll let that sink in.
        I feel like trolls are just crapping all over these good informations being put out by the Sussexes just to spite them, its really very troublesome. If you never been in this situation and have never needed Crisis Line services, then good for you, I suppose. There are many that appreciate these services.

      • LindaS says:

        Olenna you sure must think I comment a lot. I helped someone get away from abuse. I know how that abuser thought. My experience. Why are my thoughts and experience less important and something to be criticized. Some people think everything is a criticism of the Sussexes. Some things they say should be questioned and not taken as the complete or only truth.

      • Olenna says:

        @LindaS, you comment enough. You said, “Some things they say should be questioned and not taken as the complete or only truth.” Why aren’t you questioning Woke Willie, Katie Keen or even Sophie Wessex who now thinks she can be a source of information during this pandemic? Rhetorical question, but be honest with yourself.

      • Nic919 says:

        You do realize the Cambridges also support Shout so why aren’t you criticizing them too. Oh wait because you never have even if they do the same as the Sussexes. Which is rare because they barely work. I suppose exposing call centre workers to potentially catching the virus and making concerned faces is more helpful.

    • Flamingo says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who found that to be poor advice. My pro bono work has always been in DV, dissolutions and protective orders. Even though I have done a considerable bit of legal work with people in DV situations, I am in no means qualified to counsel them and neither is anyone else with two hours of training.

      • BUBS says:

        H and M are doing the best they can, under the circumstances. They never claim to be experts at things they aren’t experts at, but simply point people towards avenues they believe would be helpful. Anyone who thinks they know better can post his/her own suggestions on his/her own SM accounts. At least these two are using their platform to even remind the lager public of the fact that there are people who would be negatively affected by social distancing. Most people didn’t even consider that before. So it’s a conversation started and hopefully, people will be able to get the best help they can at this time.

      • Yelena says:

        It’s not good advice. You’re correct. I understand that they are encouraging people to do something constructive with their time at home. But many of us are still working, I am in healthcare so I’m not at home. When I am at home I am worrying about providing food for my family when everyone is panic buying.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        @ Yelena

        It’s interesting how opinions differ because I happen to think it’s great advice. Not everyone works in healthcare and so just because *you* do t have anytime for it, doesn’t mean there aren’t many others for whom this advice would be perfect.

    • Becks1 says:

      You understand that they are highlighting an organization that they are already involved with and other organizations that are already established at this?

      they’re not telling people to go to “” and become a licensed therapist in an hour.

      • MEL says:

        These people probably think the volunteers that work with SHOUT are all liscenced…weird.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        I suspect they just can’t get past the fact it’s Meghan and Harry suggesting this. Otherwise they’d be a lot more objective.

      • Olenna says:

        Agree, Becks1. No one with common knowledge of how help centers operate would think the Sussexes are promoting internet counseling degrees. And, it is really sad when people come here with their ill-informed, hypocritical biases just to take another shot at the Sussexes. Some of them need to stop and think before commenting or trolling. Or, better yet, take their outrage and negativity to one of those sites where Sussex bashing is the norm, where prejudice and envy sustain the conversation, and poor self-awareness and -esteem are the motivators. I’ll be bookmarking this thread to see what these complainers have to say when the Keens attempt something similar.

      • Krystina says:

        Apparently, some people can’t read. Or, at least see past their ridiculous hatred for the Sussexes.

      • I agree Becks1. I also think they’re are a lot of bored trolls stirring the pot here.

      • Lady D says:

        When I took a hospice care volunteer course, we were told to refer to ourselves as counselors. We are part of the team that includes the dying’s family, care aids, hospital workers clergy and/or funeral directors. We are all committed to giving the dying the ending they seek, and are there for the hurt confused and grieving ( and sometimes guilty feeling) family afterwards with funeral information, filling out death certificates and other govt. forms, info about hall rentals for receptions, clergy info, and arranging for calls to be made if the family member can’t. We are told to call ourselves counselors because if we say we’re volunteers we won’t be taken seriously by anyone, including the hospital team.

    • Enis says:

      These are peer counselors. They are there to listen and guide people to the resources they need. I’ve done this for over a decade. Programs like RAINN have successfully used these programs for a long time.

      • Noodle says:

        And as peer counselors, I doubt they are going to explore childhoods or wartime experiences. These counselors are people who will help those who need it to learn to manage their intense and scary feelings right NOW.

    • Nic919 says:

      Thanks new handle we have not ever seen. Did you make these same comments when William and Kate promoted this exact same thing. You didn’t? So please take all the seats with the faux concern.

      FYI this is supposedly the course that William was going to take himself. Of course we have heard nothing about it.

      • GG says:

        @Nic919 While I agree with you that their “argument” has no merit (there’s IS a place in the mental health community for remotely accessing helpful resources from telephone hot lines to skype therapy, to chat rooms etc) and is clearly more concerned with making a criticism of H&M, I think attacking them because you haven’t seen their handle before is Unnecessary. This is a gossip website not an exclusive club for which you are a bouncer.

      • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

        GG- I don’t know, formerly I used to agree about new handles, but that was before organized trolling campaigns came into existence.

      • notasugarhere says:

        The blatant new handles, and the increased trolling by those handles, has not gone unnoticed.

      • Nic919 says:

        Nah I am going to call out hypocrites who have new handles and ignore the exact same charities that have been supported by the Cambridges.

        Someone with a new handle that doesn’t make asinine comments is more than welcome. We have had plenty here. But trolls will and should always be called out.

    • BabsORIG says:

      @NVYwife27, have you ever heard if a Crisis Line Counsellor? If you haven’t google and educate yourself. Its always better to post about a topic/subject/issue with some knowledge instead of just blindly criticizing someone. Just a thought.

    • SomeChick says:

      I have worked on crisis lines. They train volunteers (who often pay for the training themselves) who then make a time commitment to help answer calls (and sometimes IM or emails).

      Most times, people needed a listening ear. We were provided with instruction, practice time with trained volunteers acting as callers, and there was always someone more experienced available to hand things off to.

      It’s VALUABLE WORK. We’d receive feedback that we’d really helped folks.

      I actually miss doing it. I should consider getting retrained and picking it back up.

      If you ever need to call one of these crisis lines, a caring volunteer will answer. I’m sure their volume is up!

    • Marigold says:

  5. BayTampaBay says:

    Does anyone really think Harry will leave Meghan & Archie? If Harry did return to the UK, he would bring Meghan & Archie with him.

    I am confused; what exactly is it that Richard Kay expects or wants Harry to do if he returns to the UK?

    • Tessa says:

      It would be sickening if Harry left his family to go back to the UK. William and Kate would make him grovel and say “I told you so.” Harry needs to be with his family; William and Kate made it clear how they felt during that service.

    • MsIam says:

      He just needs to use up some ink and make the Sussexes look bad too. Probably on William, Carole and maybe Charles’ marching orders. But most likely William since he is the new “face” of the monarchy with TQ and Charles in isolation. Nobody is expecting Harry home, in fact that’s the last thing they want. It’ll make William look like an even bigger douche.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        All of this just blows my mind as the 1K comments in the Daily Fail are begging Meghan & Harry to go away and then fade away yet the The Daily Fail continues to posts 2-3 stories a day on the Sussexes that generate thousands and thousands of comments. All of this just makes me laugh.

    • Yoyo says:

      He would bring Meghan and Archie with him.
      The question is would Meghan want to go with him.

    • SomeChick says:

      Can you even imagine the screams if they were to travel right now? With or without the baby?!

      Richard Kay needs to stop with the three martini lunches or whatever it is he is doing to make him have these fantasies. Just. Stahp.

      Harry is not coming back. Why would he? He knows what he wants. He already went through the hard part. Why do it again?

  6. HMC says:

    Social distancing is necessary and vital but it does have a cost. And that cost won’t really be seen until this is over. I know I’m having some difficulty dealing with not interacting with other people in a meaningful way. Online is helpful to a degree but not nearly enough on some days.

    • SomeChick says:

      +1. I am super lonely right now. Comment and email volume is way up in all of my various social groups. And it really does help. But I’m still really lonely.

      This site brings me joy! There is always something to read, and most of the commentary here is excellent.

      I think they are wise to gently remind folks that there are options out there.

  7. MEL says:

    It’s obvious some people have gorged themselves on the bot filled SR IG comment section and are coming here to show their ignorance. What they’re promoting is their already established initiative where people can volunteer and learn how to respond to people that reach out. They’re not telling people to become the equivalent of licensed therapist. Wait till the Cambs start promoting the same thing and go hail them as heroes when they do.

    • Yoyo says:

      What are the people that are complaining doing? The usual, complaining.
      We can all do better, right now phone calls and social media Is safest way of communicating.

    • GuestWho says:

      Seriously, twitter and tumblr has busted open and they are flocking to this post and deliberately misinterpreting what H&M have said. So irritating and so not helpful.

  8. MangoAngel says:

    They’d previously acknowledged it by making jokes about it. They didn’t seem inclined to say anything “caring and motivational” until H&M did.

  9. Ladyjax says:

    I’m sorry, but quarantine is absolutely going to kill people. I have a good friend who works for the state of Wisconsin and is privy to high-level, behind the scenes talks. They’re already seeing an increase in suicides, domestic disturbances and instances of spousal and child abuse. The divorce rate is projected to skyrocket (and yes, there will likely be a small baby boom.)

    Depression can stem from any of these situations, and preexisting mental health issues can be exacerbated by them. Plus what H&M’s post said about people being stuck with their abusers is very real, especially for children home from school who don’t have teachers or other trusted adults to notice signs of abuse and intervene on their behalf.

    This isn’t just some feel good fluff piece from H&M. There are serious consequences to locking people away. Yes, it might not have as wide of an impact as covid-19, but the effects are still going to be very real for some people.

    • lanne says:

      financial instability will also likely spike DV, divorce, and suicides as well

    • Bella DuPont says:

      Great post! 👍

    • Noodle says:

      100% this. I read somewhere (I am reading so much more right now due to boredom, and don’t remember sources well, so take this as anecdotal, but I DID read it somewhere) that China is seeing a big uptick in divorces being brought to the civil front due to being quarantined with each other. While we don’t often get a lot of the truth out of mainland China’s media or government, it is interesting to see what’s happening over there as a largely post-COVID society.

    • Case says:

      I agree, this is an incredibly important topic to be touching on. People with pre-existing mental health issues will become more anxious, develop worse OCD, worse depression, etc., and I’m sure some who have never even dealt with mental issues will develop them — particularly people without folks to call or text, or extroverts who thrive on face-to-face interactions. I also worry about when we’re all allowed to roam normally again — will more people be germaphobes, or afraid to leave the house? I’m sure there will be a lot of new mental health issues left in COVID’s wake.

      I have had anxiety and panic attacks since I was a teenager. I’ve had a few really bad nights since I started social distancing almost two weeks ago. Luckily I’ve managed to get to a place of calm by not reading so much news and regularly calling my family. But I live alone, and it’s tough sometimes, even though I’m an introvert and quite good at entertaining myself. I’m trying to just be gentle — not too hard on myself if I sleep in later than I intended or didn’t conquer every chore I wanted to in a day. And that really does help, but I know that’s not the same case for everyone.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        I limit myself to checking the news once everyday. I’ve been doing that for a long while because too much is affecting me negatively. The news have been too much here in Denmark with wall-to-wall coverage of just corona. It is not helping my depression and anxiety.

        My country just extended the lockdown until april 13th. And honestly, just checking on the numbers scare me – because the death toll doubled from yesterday! And we’re about 2-3 weeks into this thing. My government has taken what seems like draconic measures but I really hope that it helps flatten the curve. The weather has been good these last few days and with so many people at home, several recreational spaces have just been overrun and the police have had to speak very seriously to people as well as giving out large fines (pretty much double of what a parking ticket costs), about 200 dollars .

        My parents are elderly and vulnerable due to my mother’s poor health and my father being a smoker for 70 years. I’m terrified for them. My sister I and shop for them (thank God for the friend who has lent us her extra car) but I feel so sad that we can’t stay with them much because it is so easy to forget taking appropriate measures for a longer stay than 30 minutes. We take a cup of coffee and a sweet with them after we’ve shopped and that’s it.

    • Thirtynine says:

      Ladyjax, so true. Here where I am we are seeing an increase in disturbances in the area. People are becoming more volatile as the anxiety ramps up, and the changes become harder to deal with. Many people in my area have very limited financial, social or mental health resources at the best of times, and are already living trauma affected lives. Phone support from someone trained to listen for warning signs, offer empathy or perhaps guidance to what help could be accessed past the immediate crisis is like most Sussex ideas- practical, helpful, affordable and mostly accessible to all. And speaks to both those who need help and those who feel they can offer it. I will never meet Harry or Meghan, but it makes me feel as though they have my back as I go out (and I am one of those who still has to work) and do what I must for my community at this time. Don’t stop doing what you do, Sussex’s! I’m counting on you!

    • Dunnoboutthat says:

      I’m an English-American and honestly don’t care that much about any of the royal family (except for loathing Pedo Andy). But I happened to read what Harry & Meg wrote and I really liked that they were bringing attention to how people were coping emotionally. I’m glad they addressed it and they don’t deserve to be picked at over it.

  10. Tia says:

    He’s not medically trained and if he did come back to do Royal work, police officers would have to be diverted to act as security (not just against real threats but against members of the public looking for a target).

    Not to mention the risk to anybody assisting in transporting the family

    He is very sensible to stay where he is and release videos online.

  11. aquarius64 says:

    To the stupid RRs: by pushing Harry to come back to the UK and leave Meghan and Archie he’ll be branded a jerk. Also it’s announcing William didn’t get the proper training to take on the burdens of the Crown. Willie had basic training but obviously skipped National Emergency class. There are others members of the BRF he can call on but apparently Billy doesn’t have that kind of pull.

  12. JustMe says:

    Finish reading the entire statement!
    “And for those of you who don’t feel comfortable texting with a stranger, reach out to your friends, family and colleagues. Phone calls and video conferencing are such a great way to feel more connected – ask if they’re okay, tell them how you’re (actually) feeling, and use this time to really listen for the answer. If there is someone you know and are worried about, your text may be the thing that saves their life.”
    I have never been trained as a counselor but have been asked for advice, (and sought my own advice from others when needed) on how to deal with a myriad of problems, situations, and feelings of uncertainty by realtives and friends, as have many of you! Reaching out when you can and want to is up to every person’s choice. That is what their statement is advocating.
    Anyone finding that problematic boggles my mind.

  13. Maxie says:

    Celebrities should donate quietly during this awful times and leave it at that.

    Giving advices on how to get through the quarantine isn’t a good look when they’re all holed up in gigantic mansions with their saving and their futures completely safe. They may have good intentions but it’s tone deaf beyond belief.

    • Bella DuPont says:

      Couldn’t agree less. I think it’s incredibly selfish and mean spirited when privileged people who are cash and time rich just sit around and fold their arms watching the little people suffer.

      I find this kind of messaging really damaging in general.

      Please people, whether your rich or poor, if you can find ways to pitch in in these challenging times, please do. If you have no money and an elderly neighbour, you can check in on them via phone, maybe once a day to make sure they’re fine. (For example).

      If you’re a celebrity or influential with a large platform, please use it to spread (accurate) information or even comfort.

      We’re all in this together. 💕

    • Marie says:

      I disagree with you Maxie Do you want them to ignore this crisis or try and offer support? I would resent them so much if they choose to ignore this.

    • Anon says:

      “Maxie: what a trollish comment to make! The larger the privilege the larger the responsability. You’re just trolling.

    • Lady D says:

      Why are Harry, Meghan and every other celebrity supposed to donate quietly? Why does it make you uncomfortable to hear about it?

      • Maxie says:

        They’ll be criticized if people think they aren’t donating enough but food banks need cash donations more than ever.

        Singing “Imagine” or posting one “Today I feel _____” IG post is just useless, IMO.

      • BabsORIG says:

        Useless in your opinion @Maxie. Many of us don’t share your opinions, thank God.

    • Kristina says:

      +1 Maxie

      • Smices says:

        Except the “Today I Feel…” post is linking people up with established mental health resources that could be vital during this time. It’s totally in keeping with their roles as royals.

    • Lizzie says:

      What is the point of pointing out ‘their mansion’? Apparently you think how dare they live someplace nice. You are showing your true self.

      So don’t take them up on their suggestions – no one asked you to. But I will bet there are some people who are suddenly out of work who will feel a lot of satisfaction to be able to volunteer as a peer counselor.

      Who are you to say the suggestion should’t be out there?

  14. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    I’m glad they’re trying to help people during this crisis. I have mental health issues and they’re being exacerbated by this self-isolation thing. Lord knows I need to talk to someone during the day and I’d rather call one of these helplines than do nothing at all.

  15. savu says:

    I’m a tv reporter and I’ve done several stories about our mental health right now. A psychologist told me that even while social distancing or in quarantine, we have the ability to be social via technology which is amazing. He recommended trying to stay as connected as you can. And I talked to a therapist yesterday who said they’re letting their providers decide, but most have switched to telehealth. She brought up though that people with severe mental illness, especially any that cause paranoia, won’t go near a phone or computer. Right now if they don’t get care in person, they don’t get care at all. Something I’ve never thought about.

  16. Marjorie says:

    Hi, I’m petty, but Meghan still needs a copy editor to get rid of the over-earnestness. I’m a huge fan and I know she means well, but she needs to cut text by about half. Write tight, said EB White.

    • RedRoyal says:

      She is damned if she do and damned if she doesn’t.

    • MsIam says:

      In this f–ked up situation we are in, a little (a lot really) bit of earnestness is not a bad thing, Save concise for a brochure.

    • Jaded says:

      She’s not writing a commercial, she’s posting information in a kind and caring way. So it’s a bit more wordy and emotional, it’s the intent of the message, not writing tight.

    • BabsORIG says:

      @Majoire no pun but, why does MEGHAN need anything? Maybe its HARRY that’s writing, or maybe its their web tech you know? Why is Meghan always being criticized when there are 2 (and a pint size) Sussexes? Do you consider Harry to be dumb or thick or whatever you people choose to label Harry?

    • Elizabeth says:

      I wonder if you’d also say that to William Faulkner or Thomas Browne or T.S. Eliot, all of whom are known for long, difficult, recursive works, and all of whom are masters of literary arts! Lol! Do you think Beloved was too long and repetitive? Listen, there are those of us who actually like deep, emotional, profound prose… At least she’s showing love.

    • Thirtynine says:

      That unashamed earnest sweetness is who Meghan is. Its part of her charm, in a sort of goofy, unfashionable way. It’s honest and I like it.

  17. adotb22 says:

    Hope everyone is staying healthy out there. I wanted to add my 2 cents as I bristled a little bit around Harry and Meghan’s counseling idea. I’ve been involved the mental health field for 15 years as a therapist, clinical supervisor, and now as a manager in an organization that works in the mental health field. From the mental health lens, the thing about this situation that is so unique is that we have no precedent for providing mental health services during a pandemic. In the past week, the organization I work for has moved to a complete remote working system meaning we are providing video and phone based sessions as well as psychological first aid. This has involved creating new procedures that are ethical, safe and responsive, as well as developing screening tools for things like interpersonal violence, because we recognize this is going to be a significant issue for lots of families. I’ve been involved in the mental health response for 2 natural disasters and the thing about these situations is that they are so unique you can’t simply plan your response ahead of time. Work in these situations needs to be adaptive and responsive to community needs. Research tells us that the first 72 hours – 1 week following a crisis situation (ie. the announcement of a pandemic followed by quarantining regulations) people are focused on basic needs: food, shelter, and immediate safety. When people start to adjust to their new normal, that’s when we see the mental health impacts kick in and they can last months and years following something like that. The point that I’m making is that these situations are so nuanced. If you want to help a friend or a neighbour here are some things you can do or encourage: organize a FaceTime playdate (this can include pets if you don’t have wee runs running around); put pictures up in your front window so that people walking by can see them; get outside daily, even for 5 minutes; write or share one thing you are grateful for each day; pick up the phone and call someone. If you think someone is really struggling, look up your community’s 24 hour distress centre phone number. These are trained volunteers who work 24/7. They know how to assess for mental health. I still really love Harry and Meghan, and appreciate what they are trying to do, I just truly believe there are so many simple things we can do to have a a positive impact on the lives of those around us. And let the people who are trained specifically in this to do what they do best 🙂

    • Bella DuPont says:

      Great post. 👍

      HVe to say though, I don’t see any advice they’ve given that conflicts with yours?

    • GuestWho says:

      Are you deliberately misinterpreting what their message said, or do you really not get it?

      • adotb22 says:

        Hey, I think I actually do get it. As mentioned, I was referring to one aspect of their post. Thanks 🙂

    • adotb22 says:

      My concern was around their recommendation to do an online counseling. I recognize they weren’t talking about the same level of counseling I’m referring to in this. But, I think it’s a slippery slopes, and one of the worst things (imo) is people thinking they are counselors and can provide that level of support.

      • Smices says:

        The distress centre with trained volunteers is precisely what the Sussexes are talking about in their post. You’re literally recommending the same thing.

      • BabsORIG says:

        @adotb22, I think the reason @Guestwho asked the question above (ie, Guestwho: Are you deliberately misinterpreting what their message said, or do you really not get it?) is because you seem to think the Sussexes were suggesting people take online 2 hour courses to become what you do as a profession, which is just not the case unless you didn’t really read their post as well as you claim to have done. They weren’t merely “not talking about the same level of counseling” they’re talking about an entirely different kind of counseling, hello…..?????.

      • adotb22 says:

        Oh geez, didn’t mean for my comments to be misinterpreted. I read the post in full, and fully support all mental health work being done right now. Again, just reiterating that some people interpret being able to do “counseling” differently from its intent and as the D&D have said, there are lots of other ways for people to help. I guess i was being redundant which wasn’t my intent (sorry!). I’ve seen so much misinformation being shared around this topic and I feel really passionately about people having access to the right services and supports during this time and also having the correct information.

      • Pineapple says:

        I have done the Crisis Centre Counselling. Any trained psychotherapist, psychologist or psychiatrist worth their salt would have NO concerns about people taking these courses.

        No schizophrenic is going to go to a Crisis Centre Counsellor to have their medications adjusted … to suggest it is “ slipper slope” is idiotic.

        There is not enough money in Mental Health Care … any educated professional will tell you that. Having empathetic humans you can call and talk to while waiting for a professional appointment, having teen piers to empathize, having adult humans remind depressed individuals how far they have come, how many people love them, encourage them to go see their doctors (again), all of these things are important in a world where resources are limited.

      • adotb22 says:

        Yikes, can we not step into name calling? Nothing I said was idiotic. I’m quite knowledgeable about this topic as I know a lot of others are. If you have a difference of opinion or disagree I can hold space for that. I think , in this time more than ever ,we need compassion and kindness. So I will hold that onto that for myself. I’ve clarified my points and what I meant, so I think I’m going to stop here. Have a good day, hope you and your family stays safe and healthy.

  18. bluemoonhorse says:

    I’m a fan but the graphic posts are rather lame and rather bland and I guess I’ll be jumped on for that opinion but it’s JMO. I think M&H are in self-quarantine to protect Archie (which is smart, and I think both of them are smart) because of their UK trip. That is why the lack of photos recently. Hopefully, all are well.

    • Le4Frimaire says:

      I don’t know. What would they post photos about? They’d be jumped on and accused of self-promotion and the trolls would swarm. Maybe just the words help keep things a little less fraught and focused on the seriousness of the issue. Don’t need pics of them constantly.

    • BabsORIG says:

      LOL, different strokes for different folks. I was talking to my daughter this morning and I said how mad it makes me when any celebrity or royal post any pics of themselves during this time. I don’t want to see ANY picture of them self promoting on anything or hogging the lime light and Im just happy reading what they are saying. I would lose it if the Kardashians chose this time to start posting pics about their little lives and blah blah blah, to me, this is just not the time. I don’t wanna see any pictures of famous people, period. Now if they’re posting some pictures of first responders, or just any success stories of people that have gone through these times and lived to tell the story, Im all for it. But pictures of them? No thanks very much.
      My daughter is the opposite. She’s sick or hearing about COVID-19, period and she appreciated Kate pics.

  19. Le4Frimaire says:

    I actually wrote on that post and thought it was good overall. I saw some criticism of the trained counselor so maybe should have clarified, but so glad they mentioned domestic violence. Hope they let others know what resources out there and steer people toward good information. I certainly don’t expect them to be the first responder, but more to highlight, support and amplify those who are.

  20. yinyang says:

    I think Meghan and Harry much more serious and frank. I think it would be great the next time they release something it should be on a Canadian or local news outlet first. Glad we got Meghan…much more likeable than Sophie or Kate.

  21. AMM says:

    A mental health tech (aka orderly, aka psyche aid, aka behavioral health tech) is an entry level job and how I got my start in mental health. They are on the floor with one day of training. Their job is to listen, be compassionate and inform patients about available resources if they more than a hug/listening ear in that moment. They are dealing with patients one on one for 8-12 hours a day while the patient waits to see their therapist for the scheduled 15 minutes a day/week. They are important.

    A peer counselor is also an important position at many mental health centers. Again, they are there to provide support and resources, with the understanding that they have too suffered from mental health difficulties and can relate and show a positive future for patients going through dark times. No school necessary. Just training and the right personality and compassion for the job.

    Please stop insulting the people who work hard everyday without a degree. What the Sussexs are recommending is not new nor is it inappropriate. It’s a vital part of our mental healthcare system. We need volunteers to work on crisis hot lines. We need volunteers to visit psychiatric wards. We need online people willing to just listen and direct people in crisis to available resources.

  22. Nic919 says:

    Shouldn’t we let the organizations decide who can be a crisis counsellor and not assume that they don’t screen who signs up for it? All this worry about a 2 hour course assumes the organizations just take anyone who applies. That literally not how it works.

    Unless someone takes a two hour course and then manages to get their own helpline number, I’m quite confident that the organization the people are working for trains their people.

  23. Flying fish says:

    I actually responded to a post on there from someone who seemed in despair. You don’t need a certification to offer a shoulder or kind words.

  24. Summer says:

    I’m very surprised that no one is focused on telemedicine.

  25. sherry says:

    The way the British tabloids are behaving has such a whiff of desperation. It’s pathetic.