Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, has visited the mental health charity Shout, which recently celebrated its one millionth text conversation. Shout is a 24/7 text charity started by the Duchess, her husband Prince William and brother-in-law Prince Harry in 2019 as they promoted their Heads Together campaign.
The Duchess enjoyed her visit, stating on Twitter, “Having met some of the incredible volunteers today to hear their stories and see how they facilitate conversations, it’s obvious how their empathetic approach helps people feel safe, calm and listened to.”
Shout “Is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. We launched publicly in May 2019 and we’ve had more than 900,000 conversations with people who are anxious, stressed, depressed, suicidal or overwhelmed and who need immediate support. As a digital service, Shout 85258 has become increasingly critical since Covid-19, being one of the few mental health support services able to operate as normal at this time.”
The time the Duchess, Prince William and Prince Harry founded this effort was fortuitous, as just a year later the pandemic would force families, friends and coworkers to separate and quarantine as the coronavirus pandemic overtook the world. It was during that time that people needed an outlet like Shout more than ever, as people’s mental health deteriorated.
Sadly, Prince Harry is unable to celebrate this achievement with Catherine, who at one point partnered with her and his brother to help address mental health issues through their initiative Heads Together, which started in 2016.
According to the Heads Together website: “Too often, people feel afraid to admit that they are struggling with their mental health. This fear of prejudice and judgement stops people from getting help and can destroy families and end lives. Heads Together wants to help people feel much more comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing and have the practical tools to support their friends and family.
“Heads Together is a mental health initiative spearheaded by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.”
Though Heads Together was a collaboration between the Cambridge’s and Prince Harry, it was really spearheaded by Catherine.
Per Prince William: “When Catherine, Harry and I launched Heads Together, it is fair to say that we were ambitious about what it could achieve.
“It was Catherine who first realised that all three of us were working on mental health in our individual areas of focus. She had seen that at the core of adult issues like addiction and family breakdown, unresolved childhood mental health issues were often part of the problem.”
Of course, this spirit of collaboration died when Meghan Markle entered the picture.
It would have been great to see a royal visit with Catherine and Harry, who only did a handful of royal engagements together. But no, Prince Harry is now juggling in his yard for Meghan’s amusement and disappointing Spotify and Netflix.
However, Catherine’s visit shows that the consistency of royal visits is what makes royalty, not showy and pointless titles like chief impact officer.