The engagement was embargoed, most likely due to the sensitive nature of the work carried out at the helpline, however, upon their arrival, word quickly spread the couple were in the area. Rebecca English was told William and Kate were keen "to see what actually happens when people seek support".
YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. The organisation is one of eight charity partners of William, Kate and Harry's mental health campaign Heads Together. The aim of the campaign is to challenge mental health stigma and change the national conversation on mental wellbeing. I expect we'll see the young royals carry out a variety of engagements with the other charities involved in the coming months.
The Parents Helpline is one of YoungMinds longest-running services and remains crucial to the work of the organisation. The helpline was established as an innovative response after its founders discovered that parents were frustrated, worried and desperately needed information, reassurance and advice. As a result, the service developed its current two-tier structure to serve these parents' needs: a freephone telephone helpline staffed by experienced frontline workers; and a call-back service staffed by mental health professionals. Today, the service has grown vastly and provides comprehensive telephone and online support for parents and carers of children and young people experiencing emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties.
The visit began at meeting with the volunteers who man the helplines.
More from the Mail Online:
One, Saida Tahir, told him it was a busy time for self-harm because many teenagers were affected by their exam results. Recalling his own exam worries, William said: 'It still gives me the heebie-jeebies. I still get sweaty thinking about it.'
The couple heard harrowing tales of parents who had contacted the helpline, including one of a mother whose son had been mugged of his mobile phone when he was 13. He became too anxious to leave the home, and when he was 17 his anxiety levels 'went through the roof'.
His mother told the helpline: 'He was so distressed he was determined to end his life. He told us this quite blatantly. My husband spent weeks sleeping in the hall so our son could not escape from the house at night and head for the bridge.'
The couple listening in on a training talk.
The Duke and Duchess sat in on a volunteer call session.
William said: "Can I have an easy one please? I'm carrying a lot of things at the moment. I will be in floods of tears at the end otherwise. I've had too many sad stories with the Air Ambulance. I can't deal with any more stuff. Just maybe at the lower level, if I can. I'm steeling myself the best I can."
After listening to live calls, Kate said she could tell from the caller's voice, the emotion at the beginning, and then the acceptance: 'OK, this is what I need to do.' To relief towards the end: 'OK, I've been listened to, I know what my next steps are.'
Kate spoke about taking calls to chief executive Sarah Brennan:
'William and I found it absolutely fascinating, from hearing the case study and also taking the calls. She said the types of calls were so varied - 'what their worries are, their concerns'. She added: 'What we've taken away is just how normal it is. We are parents ourselves, I am sure we will face worries - we do face worries, because we've got small young children. If those worries escalate, how vital it is to get support - and you are providing that support.'
She added: 'As a parent and as a mother, having that feeling that there is somebody there that is non-judgemental, that can provide the professional support, and that can really provide helping hand at a really difficult time.'
I thought today's visit an impressive one and it's wonderful to see a focus on mental health in support of the Heads Together campaign continuing. Once again, we saw very interesting comments from the couple, especially Kate noting as parents they face worries "because we've got small children". Rebecca English noted William has been "much more engaged and engaging" than she's every seen him before. It was also excellent to see the tremendous work of the helpline promoted, if you would like to find out more about the YoungMinds helpline please click here.
We saw Kate bring back her much-loved L.K. Bennett Lasa dress yesterday - today she debuted another gorgeous dress by the brand.
The L.K. Bennett Eugenia dress is a vibrant red summery dress with short sleeves and falls just above the knee for a classic finish. It's a very feminine, floaty dress and was clearly a hit with customers as it's entirely sold out.
Kate carried her L.K. Bennett Nina clutch again today.
Kate wore her effortlessly stylish Gianvito Rossi 105 Suede Pumps. They are described as "hand-finished in Italy from luxuriously soft suede. A 105mm heel and pointed toe create an elegant, flattering silhouette. The warm antique-rose hue complements every skin tone". The pumps retail for $675 at Net-A-Porter.
Kate completed the look with her Kiki McDonough Lauren earrings.
And Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.
Finally, a look at Kate's partially-up hairstyle today; I thought it worked very well with the ensemble.
You can view a video shared by Kensington Palace which includes William and Kate speaking about what they learned from their visit.
Hear from The Duke and Duchess about what they learned @youngmindsuk parent helpline today with @headstogetherhttps://t.co/TkAwxrjapr— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) August 25, 2016
What do you think of today's engagement and Kate's look?
Finally, I was delighted to chat with talented writer Peter Balkus about the blog. If you would like to read the piece you can do so by clicking here :)