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Prince William launches mental health project

Prince William flanked by Sajid Javid and Cressida Dick
Prince William flanked by Sajid Javid and Cressida Dick Image credit: standard.co.uk

The Duke of Cambridge has launched a new initiative to support the mental health of emergency services workers.

Prince William gave a speech in London on Thursday to 200 front line workers about his time as a graduate as an Air Ambulance pilot to announce the Blue Light Together project.

He said: “I often think about my time working for RAF Search and Rescue and the East Anglia Air Ambulance.

“I remember the pressure of attending calls in the most stressful conditions, sometimes with tragic conclusions.

“I remember the sense of solidarity with my team, pulling together to do the best we could and sharing the weight of responsibility.

“I also remember returning home with the stresses and strains of the day weighing on my mind, and wanting to avoid burdening my family with what I had seen.”

The royal said the mental health support available for emergency workers must be “prioritised” outlining the “complexities of talking to family and friends about the job” and “having a split personality – one for home and one for work”.

He told the frontline workers: “The work you do is some of the toughest out there, and we owe you an enormous debt of gratitude.

“I would only ask that you look out for your own wellbeing, just as you tirelessly care for everyone else’s.”

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, who was present at the event, told the Duke: You have always been a stalwart supporter of our emergency services and as a member of our emergency services.

“We are deeply grateful for your work and that the Foundation has been doing in the last few years in relation to mental health. It has made a huge difference.”

During the day Prince William spoke to Dr John Chatterjee from London Air Ambulance.

After they met Chatterjee said: “He said he misses the uniform and I think it’s that rush you have in all of us in the job a balancing act between being serious, exciting and rewarding and that’s the thing that people miss when they leave the service and retire.”

The Met Police lost 70,000 working days due to mental health reasons.