Posted on 07 June 2019
Give us a shout: another good intervention on mental health from the younger royals
William, Kate, Megan and Harry have teamed up to give £3million from their Royal Foundation to a new text messaging service to help people in mental crisis.
It is free, anonymous and available at any time. The service will support people having a ‘tough moment’ using mainly volunteers. It hopes to recruit 4,000 volunteers by the end of the year, these volunteers will be supported by clinically trained professional advisors.
Volunteers will be thoroughly trained and asked to commit to 200 hours a year.
Launching the service, Prince William said the aim is to provide instant support. "You can have a conversation anywhere and anytime - at school, at home, on the bus, anywhere."
The full launch follows the success of a 12-month pilot which saw 60,000 conversations take place, mainly by young people.
Prince William said: "That is 60,000 moments when people who were feeling scared, frightened and alone were able to use their phone to connect with someone who could support them."
The Duchess of Cambridge added: “The service is able to offer support when it is crucially needed and the opportunity to turn lives around. This really is an important step for those desperately in need.”
It is so important to see initiatives like this using modern technology to offer immediate support. With Shout, people in need can start a text chat with a trained volunteer, who will know how to listen, reassure and guide people.
There is an extra level of safety with a team of psychotherapists on hand for the volunteers if more intervention is needed.
The system will use algorithms to alert when words like suicide, forced marriage and slavery crop up.
Prince William is encouraging people to volunteer for the service. He knows how important intervention is. He has previously spoken about how, as an air ambulance pilot, he was confronted with suicide. He says that it can be difficult to listen to conversations about these difficult issues without being judgmental, but if you think it is for you, he would love to see you join as a volunteer.
If you need the service or think you could help, please visit the website to find out more.
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