William and Kate urge nation to look after mental health amid coronavirus lockdown

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to launch a £5m programme to boost the nation’s mental health amid the coronavirus crisis.

William and Kate have backed the Public Health England initiative urging Brits to keep their spirits up during the lockdown.

Due to be launched on Sunday, it will pump £5m into wellbeing charities and support services to help reduce anxiety levels.

“The last few weeks have been anxious and unsettling for everyone,” the Cambridges’ said.

“We have to take time to support each other and find ways to look after our mental health.

The £5m initiative will help mental health charities and support services (PA)

“It is great to see the mental health sector working together with the NHS to help people keep on top of their mental wellbeing.

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“By pulling together and taking simple steps each day, we can all be better prepared for the times ahead.”

The guidance, which can be found on the PHE website, offers tips on staying in touch with loved ones using video calls and social media, how to seek help as well as establishing a healthy sleep pattern or starting a new hobby.

The Cambridges said supporting each other during lockdown is essential (PA)

Developed with the input of mental health charities such as Mind and clinically assured by the NHS, it also has tips on how to help children manage stress, including being aware of reactions around them and setting up a new routine.

PHE said it is also issuing advice to NHS trusts on prioritisation of services and how to maximise use of digital and virtual channels to keep delivering support to patients, including 24 hour helplines.

Mental health minister Nadine Dorries, who was the first MP to test positive, said: “When I discovered I had coronavirus I felt anxious and scared.

“For those who already suffer with anxiety or other mental health issues this may present new and difficult challenges.

“It’s imperative that we stay home if we are to beat coronavirus and save lives.”

Additional reporting by PA.

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