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Coronavirus lockdown is “stressful” for many people and it is important to look after mental health, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have said.
Prince William said there was an “ever-increasing need” for people to know where to access help and support. In a BBC interview, he said NHS workers often had to absorb the pain and loneliness of coronavirus patients. The duke went on to reveal how anxious he was when his father, the Prince of Wales, was diagnosed with the virus.
In a wide-ranging interview about the pandemic, mental health and the NHS, Prince William described how the three-week lockdown had been “frustrating” for many people and “pressure, stress and isolation” had been building up.
“If we are going to go forward with more time spent in lockdown, then there is going to be an ever-increasing need for people to look after their mental health and take it seriously and also know where to go to get the support they might need,” he said.
Catherine said there had been a focus on physical well-being during the lockdown – with people being told one of the reason they can leave their homes is for one form of exercise a day.
“While that’s hugely important we mustn’t forget our mental well-being as well and making sure you’re reaching out to those people around you that you have access to – even if it’s over the phone or online to really make sure you have those conversations,” she said.
Prince William said there was a concern people might think they were “not worthy of support” because of the pressure on services during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s important that other people aren’t forgotten and those who do need help, and do need support, and haven’t necessarily ever had to think about their mental well-being, start to do that in this weird climate we’re in,” he said.
The couple want to encourage people to talk to each other using technology and also use online tools such as NHS Every Mind Matters to help them during the coronavirus pandemic.
During the interview, the duke and duchess also praised NHS workers and said they were making the nation proud with their “stoicism and determination” to get through the pandemic.
But Prince William said some staff were understandably anxious and it was important not to alienate those who “worry” and “are scared going to work every single day”.
He said NHS workers often have to absorb the pain and loneliness of coronavirus patients and “take it home to their families”.
“We’re not superhuman, any of us. So to be able to manage those emotions and that feeling is going to take some time after all this is over as well.”
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