The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge launched a mental-health helpline for carers

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the London Ambulance Service during the Coronavirus crisis!

Prince William has put his name on something which might actually help people, shock of all shocks. We’ve known for weeks that William and Kate are especially keen to highlight mental health during the pandemic, and now they’ve done something tangible with all that keenness: a helpline for medical workers who need to speak or text with someone when they are struggling:

It’s legitimately a good thing. I won’t shade them. It seems like an extension of the Shout helpline launched last year by the Cambridges and Sussexes, even though the PR on that rollout was kind of messy. Remember that? It felt like William and Kate wanted (or just received) credit for Shout, but it was something both couples did work on. I suppose in the Sussexes’ absence, William now gets “credit” for this new thing.

Meanwhile, in lieu of making more Zoom appearances, Kate has opted to simply write letters of support to her patronages. I guess I see the calculation here – she is writing (“writing”) de facto open letters and she knows that the letters will become public, so she hopes that highlighting her patronages will encourage people to donate. It’s kind of an odd way to do it though, especially when she could, you know, just make a video encouraging people to donate to her patronages, some of which are doing vital work in a pandemic.

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge reveal how they stay in touch with the rest of the Royal family

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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56 Responses to “The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge launched a mental-health helpline for carers”

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  1. Nic919 says:

    Sending letters when the rest of the world is using zoom or Skype to communicate basically confirms that she’s not writing the letters. We aren’t in the Victorian era. Visual communication has been possible since Marconi invented the television almost 100 years ago.

    While the helpline is a good idea, again we have them doing a hands off approach. What is stopping them from going to a food bank or delivering food? This remains a passive way to get credit for doing something but not actually inconveniencing themselves. Are they going to handle a few shift to volunteer for calls? That would be a way to be more involved.

    • Mac says:

      The helpline is an excellent idea. Everyday I see interviews with frontline staff breaking down over all the illness and death they are dealing with. William and Kate are not mental health professionals and it would be irresponsible, if not dangerous, for them to provide mental health counseling.

      • Lady D says:

        Gotta agree with you, Mac. This guy stood in front of cameras and reporters and insinuated his younger brother was mentally fragile, and he openly backstabbed Harry with his two planes stunt. He’s a hypocrite and the last person to be handing out mental wellbeing advice. He could really benefit from some, but giving suggestions or advice to anyone, no.

      • Tessa says:

        What he did with that commercial flight photo op was vile. He has his own issues and should not even think of “advising” others. Kate is just as bad IMO. The sour expressions on his face near Harry and Meghan were gross.

      • songbirds_thrive says:

        Anything along these lines is helpful. But I wouldn’t give the Lamebridges too much credit. They are searching around for stuff to promote that might embiggen them and help people forget PWT’s tomfoolery in initially questioning whether the pandemic was ‘hype.’

        The video demonstrating PWT’s stupidity and ignorance will exist in perpetuity. So he may as well quit trying to screw his face up with exaggerated concern. He’s shown his true colors, and there are plenty of receipts piling up still.

    • Tessa says:

      I don’t think these two are in any position to deal with any real mental health issues. They should not get involved. They’d be better manning phones for contributions.

    • Ainsley7 says:

      The letters are standard procedure for all the Royals. They don’t necessarily expect them to be made public. The Queen and Charles send the same sort of letters to their patronages. It’s not so much to encourage outsiders to donate as it is to encourage the people working at the charity. It’s more than a little outdated, but so is having a monarchy.

      • (TheOG) jan90067 says:

        Thing is, Charles and Petty Betty back up those letters with actual physical/visual work. Cain and Unable just sign their names to letters staff write. They would spit nails if they had to instead of writing, they actually had to make a video chat or PSA for their patronages. THAT IS ACTUALLY WORK, PEOPLE…WORK!!! DO YOU HEAR ME?? WORK!!! And we know, that these two are NOT going to step up, any more than they *have* to, esp. now.

    • Nic919 says:

      Lanes need to be chosen here. If William and Kate are too unqualified to actually help with the helpline then they don’t deserve much credit for it. It is again another example of them getting credit for not doing much at all.

      And using what two seniors citizens have done for decades as the way things should be done now isn’t an excuse for Kate sending letters, by the way a month after Charles sent his. Kate is supposed to be a modern young royal so she should be doing at minimum a zoom call. Even William has done more of them. It remains a bare minimum effort, but at least we see William himself doing it.

      • Beth says:

        I think you could say that for any royal patronage.

      • Amy says:

        No royal is qualified to offer mental health guidance they are not doctors and have no training. This goes for the Queen, Charles,W&K and H&M. but they are qualified to organize groups and figure out how to launch the initiative and promote it.

        You see healthcare workers breaking down every day on TV this is a good thing and those people deserve an outlet.

    • Keroppi says:

      Do you think she actually signs the letters or she has a staff member with a stamp with her signature?

      • Nic919 says:

        There is likely a Gif of her signature that they append to the letter. Someone should take a look at the few letters she has sent and check if the signature is identical every time. If so it’s a gif. It’s pretty common in business usage nowadays anyway but most other people have a job that consists of much more than getting credit for writing letters.

  2. Watercress says:

    Bill does not look good on FaceTime. All I see is Humpty 😂✌🏼

    • Tessa says:

      He looks bored but he tries to look interested. Not working. He has gotten more pompous lately.

  3. SJR says:

    I am OK with this on their part. I personally see no reason for these 2 to be delivery meals, etc. Make more of an impact, bigger impact than that.
    If funding a mental health hotline for anyone under extreme stress/crisis is something can/will do, I give them credit to doing it.

    Also, multi-millionaires can and should be donating nice, fat checks to help others. Food banks, ppe, whatever. Do these wealthy people have no consciences at all? David Geffen sucks!!

    • Mac says:

      Anyone with the means should be donating right now. Every bit helps when demand is overwhelming.

    • Lizzie says:

      The hotline is important.
      Is PW or the foundation funding this hotline? I may have missed it but I haven’t read that PW has funded anything. If he is funding then huge kudos, if it is the foundation then he is just spending money other people contributed.

      • Becks1 says:

        He is definitely not funding it. The foundation may be, but I thought it was unclear. It said it was in connection with other orgs like Shout, so while there may be some additional funding from their foundation, I don’t think it was specified.

    • yinyang says:

      When I worked with the public it was usually the middle to lower class that were the most giving and had a sense of responsibilty. You would think the wealthy would lead by example, but they don’t.

  4. LindaS says:

    I think it would take special training to answer calls on mental health issues. Not just anybody could answer calls. Sometimes its necessary to get a person immediate help and you need training to know how to help the person

  5. Lizzie says:

    William put his name on it. Someone is writing letters for Kate. Talk about doing the bare minimum. Also, Kate is blow drying her own hair, so there is that.

    Imagine if the RF hid away during WWII and simply sent messages of ‘support’. As the Queen has always been lauded for her work in WWII, people will always remember Will and Kate hid away and stayed safe while other royals delivered food to the needy (Sussex’) and volunteered at hospitals (Sweden Princess Sofia).

    • Tessa says:

      I don’t think she’s doing her own hair. I think someone on the staff still is. She’s trying to play normal like she has no help at all there.

      • Lady D says:

        There is no way she is going without professional hair and makeup, no way. Her actions in church at the CWD services proved just how vain she is.

      • Lady D says:

        How much staff do you think she currently has in that home? At least two nannies, a cook, a housekeeper and assistant, (who does the laundry?) and a tutor for a start. I wonder if it’s under ten people?

    • DarlingDiana says:

      They are doing something good for their country. They are isolating which is exactly what they are calling on everyone else to do as well. This doesn’t take away from anyone else’s good work.
      Any one volunteering at hospitals are, imo, a cut above the usual things that others do to help. Princess Sofia will not attend patience but will be cleaning and such. I think that she, and all volunteers, doing this daily or weekly deserve a huge round of applause.

    • Nic919 says:

      Kate sending letters written by her staff is meaningless. Who has time to read the letter right now anyway? The nurses need help. She should be working to get them more PPE.

      Kate should also be helping way more. She is not in a risk category and would be able to deliver food or do something while wearing a mask. Same with William. They are there to serve the British people and not be served.

      The reason why the Queen still gets some credit for doing her duty even decades later is because when WWII happened she did more than just send letters. Kate and William are doing less than most Britons and this will come back to bite them. They wouldn’t even have to do that much, but what they are doing is not enough.

      • DarlingDiana says:

        Ultimately, that is for Britons to decide. William, Kate, The Queen, Charles, and Harry are all doing Zoom and it is all worthy endeavors. I see letters no differently regardless which member of the royal family writes it. Those letters may be framed and hung in each institution as motivation and recognition from a future Queen. It is because of their status that the effect is amplified. I think the same could be said of Harry and Meghan delivering food parcels even a few times. Because of who they are, it means a lot to the receivers. Those few lucky people will never forget that gesture and it will likely motivate others to do the same.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Nic – your last paragraph is dead on. People keep talking about the Queen during World War II and comparing that to Will and Kate now, but it completely misses the point. The Queen’s World War II service is remembered so well now because she didn’t just sit in her castle and write letters, which she certainly could have done.

      • Nic919 says:

        Getting letters from a princess will only matter to a few people and not the ones who will be around in 20 years. The UK is changing and in a crisis you want more than words written by a staff member. Kate could work on securing more PPE for the nurses from her mansion in Norfolk. She would get reams of positive articles if she actually did something like this. Hiding in her country home is not what leaders do. The Queen symbolizes a nation because she was in the ranks with them when it counted over 70 years ago. Kate and William have failed as future leaders to date. Neither are too old to justify hiding away.

      • DarlingDiana says:

        I’m sure there will be a post-CoVid19 analysis by media, the royal family and, most importantly, the UK citizens themselves. I’m not arguing the case that any member of the BRF, or anyone beyond everyday field workers at hospitals, grocery stores, and the like are performing extraordinarily dangerous tasks. I’m not suggesting that there is not always going to be more that could be done or things done differently. I’m only staying that what has been done isn’t insignificant due to who they are. Keeping moral high and recognizing the achievement of others is a major part of what the family is supposed to do. I would be surprised if Britons judge W&K or H&M as harshly as you project.
        The hiding away comments am baffled by. Unless William and Kate plan to cook or hand out meals on a regular schedule or ferry sick people back and forth then I think they would really be there for an unnecessary photo op in these times. Sheltering in place is one of the largest issues facing us due to the nature of this disease. Setting that example, even as it isn’t such a hardship for the wealthy with no worries about their financial health, is a good example to set.
        The post-Covid19 analysis of how wll everyone did their jobs, including the royals, will be unteresting.

      • Nic919 says:

        Sophie went to a food bank a few times already. William and Kate could easily do that. They are doing bare minimum and hiding away. As the youngest working royals they can and should do more. The RR will praise them for doing nothing, but the reality is that they are doing little and still looking for praise.

      • yinyang says:

        I agree, they should be leaders and lead by example, the idea of William and Kate risking their health for their people is laughable, but if even they were I can imagine all the wasteless spending on their wardrobe, $20000 each just to appear like average joes affected by the pandemic, Kate’s hairstylist taking 2 hours to make her hair appear like she did it herself…smh.

      • Olenna says:

        True leaders, they’ll never be. IMO, neither one of the Keens have had close, personal role models that displayed good leadership qualities. Old Liz, Chuck, and QM Carole sure haven’t set the greatest examples with hollow stoicism, or constant maneuvering for favor and control, or endless scheming for material wealth and social status being the best they have to offer. Worse, the Keens lack the self-motivation and interest to go outside the norm of ribbon cutting, visiting charities and patronages, and jockeying for positive press while doing as little as possible.

  6. ArtHistorian says:

    At least they are finally putting some money into their corona “work”. I hope this help line is well-funded.

  7. Ali says:

    I think NHS workers would rather have PPE.

    • Mac says:

      This isn’t an either/or situation, NHS workers need both. William and Kate are in a position to fund mental health support so they should do so.

      • notasugarhere says:

        What the financials showed is that only Harry and Meghan brought in funding to the Foundation. W&K and their foundation aren’t funding anything, because there was next to nothing raised by them to distribute.

    • kellebelle says:

      Yep. I will never have any respect for any mental health “work” that these two do after having treated Harry and Meghan like dirt for how long? They’re the most ungenuine pair ever.

  8. Snappyfish says:

    I think it’s nice & a well needed thing. A dear friend is an ER doctor & she will call some nights & just cry.

    As for the letters, whether she is writing them or not, sometimes it’s nice to receive something other than credit card offers & junk in the post

    • Elisa says:

      Ha, same regarding the letters. I’m in my 30s and my older sister is the only person still sending cards and letters, and I received one today, together with a special face mask (my BIL is a medical doctor and has access). It made me super happy to open the package. 🙂

      Also, you seem to be a really good friend! Sometimes being able to vent and cry with someone you trust makes all the difference…

  9. notasugarhere says:

    Will her staff remember to write new letters this time? Several times in the past, they’ve been caught editing existing letters and sending them out basically unchanged as ‘new letters of support’.

  10. Becks1 says:

    The helpline is a good thing (you can tell the new social media person is writing the posts, its a big change from how they used to do it, very clear and upfront). I doubt Will and Kate are very involved in it, but its a good thing and promoting it is important.

    The letters are a good thing too. The issue with them though is that for some of these organizations, the letter is the most kate has done for that charity in months or years.

  11. Awkward symphony says:

    The keenbridges love stamping their name on things 🙄 it’s a good initiative and I hope alot of front line staff benefit from it but I think its clear that they’d rather have more urgently needed PPE and other life saving tools.

    Keenkate’s letter is said to have been written and sent out weeks ago!!(back when she was posing in that pink suit) This proves my theory that they do things in one setting then divide them up to publish in parts and make it as if they “work” every week!

  12. Amy says:

    I am sorry this help line is a great thing and anyone trashing it or them for promoting it is reaching. Could they do more? Yes- we all could and they could for sure. The only royal working or not that I am impressed with is that Princess Sophie who is cleaning hospitals. THat is impressive. This of course is dependent on whether people will be in the way which i don’t know how every other hospital is but where i live it would be bad.

    Back to the hotline I really think it is great and every day you see a medical worker breakdown on TV they deserve someone to talk to that is qualified and can offer help. I would say that I wish it was also extended to grocery store workers- this might not be as big of an issue in the UK but here they are having a hard time and make little so free counseling would be fantastic. Again don’t know if this is an issue in the UK>

  13. Harper says:

    Thank you for calling Will and Kate’s Mental Health Line for Frontline NHS workers. To donate to the Royal Foundation, press one. To hear a pre-recorded message from Will Cambridge about mental health and fragility, press two. To hear a pre-recorded message from Kate Cambridge about frontline workers press three. To hear an English translation of Kate Cambridge’s pre-recorded message press four. To speak to a trained counselor press five.

    Presses five. Thank you. Our agents are extremely busy right now and the wait time is an estimated two hours. Please hold on. If you cannot hold on, leave a callback number and a brief message why you are calling, and someone will return your call within forty-eight hours. Press one if you would like to answer five questions from Kate about your feelings before hanging up. These answers will help her decide to do something in the future. Thank you. To return to the main menu, press one.

  14. yinyang says:

    PR strategy 1: Ride on coattails of the Queen, PR stategy 2: Ride on coattails of a respected old person Captain Tom Moore, PR strategy 3: Ride on coattails of frontline workers. Is there anyone they wont use for their PR stunts to hide that they’re useless. Right now so many people are out of work, and the fewer that are on the frontlines is paying for their costly shenanigans.

  15. Jaded says:

    Signing your name to a help-line or letter will work but for only a segment of society. The rest who have lost jobs, income and family members need more down-to-earth stuff like money to pay the rent, buy groceries and daily supplies. The Cambridges et al should put their names to some kind of fund-raiser and kick it off by shelling out some of their gazillions. But they’re all as stingy as Scrooge when it comes to parting with their own money.

  16. Faye G says:

    This smacks of them wanting credit for something but doing the minimum amount of work. I’d like to see the receipts for this helpline, who is actually doing the work of putting it together, how many healthcare workers will it reach, etc. What would actually help is if these Royals and rich people donated their own money for a fund to help people stay afloat during this crisis. Otherwise it’s just feel-good, attention-grabbing busywork designed to boost their image and nothing more.

  17. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    So, has Andrew been arrested yet?

  18. FashionMaven says:

    I don’t have an issue with this initiative – but what bothers me is that W&K are being praised for this – in their comments on Instagram and twitter, but when H&M mentioned the SAME program and called for people to volunteer to be trained to be mental health coaches, trolls overran the instagram post and bashed them so badly. I know most of the hateful comments came from paid troll farms and bots, but many came from real people too and combined it just was awful.

    I’m just so sick and tired of the double standards. So sick and tired.

  19. kyliegirl says:

    I definitely understand the importance of letters, but there is a way to make even typed letters more personal. Adding their name at the top and adding a more personal note in your own handwriting at the bottom. Properly top and tail. I used to send these form letters out often for my company’s president, but once I printed them out he would spend the time to write a personal note and it made all the difference. Even her signature looks like an added gif. It doesn’t take much time to make people feel special. Would the Cambridges even have this program to push if the Sussexes had not brought Shout into the Heads Together umbrella? If you look closely, the graphic of the Royal Foundation that the group used includes the Sussexes. The problem with the Cambridges is that they are always onto the next shinny new penny and don’t do the legwork to truly support their causes. Maybe this is why they weren’t able to keep their high-powered private secretaries for long. Wonder if they go back to the Rebecca Deacon/Miguel Head types who will not push or question. They seem to be throwing things around to see what sticks rather than getting stuck in and doing real work.