Friday, 10 May 2019

The Cambridges and Sussexes Put Their Heads Together to Launch Shout!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined forces to create Shout - a new text messaging line that supports people in crisis. Since last year the foursome have been working with the Royal Foundation to create the much-needed service. The official launch was held at Kensington Palace yesterday, with William and Kate there to speak about their vision for the initiative. Volunteers and guest speakers were invited, in addition to a number of royal reporters. To mark the launch, William recorded a video message featuring footage from a private visit he undertook in February. The video features clips from several of Kate's engagements focused on mental health.


I had hoped the Palace would release a video of William and Kate's remarks; I asked two royal reporters and as far as they understand we won't see anything released. We might not have photos, however we do have a little inside info. More from royal reporter Rebecca English.



'William said the 'difficult' nature of the conversations may not be for everyone, but hoped the number of volunteers would keep growing.
Smiling, he invited his wife Kate, dressed in a striped jumper and ankle-grazing wide-legged trousers, to take the floor. She talked about her work with vulnerable children and the importance of intervening before they develop mental problems. 
She added: 'Sadly for so many they have already reached a crisis situation. That's why we believe that Shout is so important.'

Victoria Murphy was also there. More from her report for Town & Country:

'Addressing a room of invited media and supporters, William said that since he, Kate, and Harry launched mental health campaign Heads Together in 2016 it has gained more traction “than we actually believed it would.”
Pointing out their aim was to produce something tangible to effect lasting change, he continued, “Over the last year, together with now Meghan as well, we’ve been working behind the scenes with the incredible team at Mental Health Innovations on a special new project to deliver those legacies.”
Addressing the launch event, Kate said, “We feel that Shout is so important. It’s able to offer support when it’s crucially needed, and the opportunity to turn lives around. It also provides that wonderful opportunity for flexible volunteering, something I feel really passionate about too.” 

Kensington Palace said: "Shout operates 24/7 and connects people in need to trained volunteers who provide help at a time when it is most needed; enabling them to move from a moment of crisis to a calm state and form a plan for next steps to find longer-term support. As texting is private and silent, it opens up a whole new way to find help.  It provides instant support - you can have a conversation at any time – at school, at home, on the bus, anywhere. This service is for everyone, but for younger people especially, texting is a trusted and familiar form of communication, and using text rather than apps makes it simple and accessible for everyone with a phone. Shout is powered by a team of volunteers who are at the heart of the service. They are trained to create a safe space for people experiencing mental health challenges. The programme is unique with the training and volunteering all done online, under the supervision of qualified clinicians. Working remotely, volunteers are part of a supportive and connected online community of 1,000, with the ambition of boosting that community to 4,000 by the end of the year."


In the video message, Prince William said: "At the heart of this service will be an incredible national volunteer community, one which needs to grow to allow us to support more people in crisis. We hope that many more of you will join us and be part of something very special." He added: "Harry, Meghan, Catherine and I have been able to see the service working up close, and are very excited for its future."


The video included footage of Harry and Meghan from last November, when they joined a panel of volunteers to hear firsthand how they make the connection with vulnerable users.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said:

"We are incredibly excited to be launching this service, knowing it has the potential to reach thousands of vulnerable people every day. Over the last few months Shout has started working quietly behind the scenes. We have all been able to see the service working up close and are so excited for its future. 
“At the heart of this service will be an incredible national volunteer community, one which needs to grow to allow us to support more people in crisis. We hope that many more of you will join us and be part of something very special."

The Royal Foundation contacted Crisis Text Line in the US to begin the process of bringing their successful model to the UK. The service has been operating in the United States for six years and has processed over 100 million text messages. Its founder and CEO Nancy Lublin was heavily involved in the creation of Shout and sits on the board. Ms Lublin said: "We are proud of the work Crisis Text Line and our Crisis Counselors has done in the United States to ease the pain of Americans. If other world leaders will follow the lead of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, together, we can end this epidemic of emotional crisis."


Nancy Lublin wrote about a dinner she attended with William:

'When I had dinner seated next to him in November 2016, it occurred to me that Prince William is doing for mental health what his mother Diana did for AIDS: be the first to shine light on an issue mired in stigma. Embracing the issue and people with AIDS, she changed everything. Already we see more celebrities, funding, orgs, and media attention for the suicide epidemic and mental health thanks to the efforts of Diana’s sons and their wives. We’re grateful they selected us to be part of their movement.'

Shout will serve as a lasting legacy to the Heads Together campaign. Launched in 2016 by William, Kate and Harry, Heads Together was driven by their desire to destigmatise mental health and start conversations all over the world. Following a year-long campaign, YouGov noted a significant change in the public’s approach to mental health. 83% of people surveyed said they had spoken about their mental health. I've been excited to see its continuation and Shout is a fantastic next step. It is the biggest initiative of the Royal Foundation to date, with a £3 million investment.


Anyone wishing to contact the support line can do so by texting Shout to 85258.


We'll see Kate on Tuesday when she returns to Bletchley Park!

44 comments:

  1. I can’t believe that I am the first to comment here!
    I think this is a great program that the young Royals are offering. A healthy mind is something to be very grateful for and if it isn’t healthy can make life difficult for the one experiencing it and those who are close to them. I think the text line is a good idea as sometimes talking to the people close to us about it can be much harder than to a complete stranger. So may God bless their efforts.

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    1. A wonderful comment! Glad it was first. I agree completely.

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  2. What a wonderful initiative. Slowly and methodically, William, Kate and Harry started to lay the framework for mental health awareness, and we are seeing these dots being connected and the network being built. Love that this is a joint project and announcement between the Cambridges and Sussexes, and I liked that William acknowledged Meghan's added participation. There is more that goes on behind the scenes than we know and this is positive evidence to that IMO. It looks like the behind the scenes results of these efforts are unfolding, and bravo to the royals for keeping their focus and efforts on furthering mental health awareness in all its forms. I do believe that since they launched this campaign, there is a heightened awareness of mental health. Could just be that I want to believe that, but I have seen commercials on television lately advocating for patients to be sure to check in with doctors at appointment time on their mental health, its something I've not seen before. This is too important, especially now with a very scary rise in teen suicides lately. I wish the program much success. cc

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    1. Zora from Prague11 May 2019 at 09:10

      I couldn't agree more, CeCe. In my country, the mental health awareness is still low but I also think I've seen some progress lately. Not sure whether it has something to do with Heads Together as such - probably not, but every initiative in this sphere is important as as the royal couples are "visible" and people know their names, their support undoubtedly makes a difference.

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  3. I'm impressed how this project connects people,offers helps but also gives another ability to making something good.I like the idea of flexible voluntary and I'm sure that it will can make a huge differnce.

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  4. Bravo, this is an inspired next step forward in their mental health awareness initiative. What a wonderful service for people in crisis.

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  5. What would really impress me would be to find that telecommunications got together to wave text messaging fees to and from Shout. I am concerned that those who may need it most may not have access -the ones Kate hopes to reach with her Early Years initiative.
    The words "Standard text-messaging fees may apply" keep running through my head. Perhaps this fee waiver or some other financial accommodation already exists. The $ 200 Psychic Hotline bill my son managed to rack up comes to mind.
    However, one has to start somewhere and this effort will still reach many in need.

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    1. I wouldn't worry about fees. Unlike your son’s psychic hotline bills this is not a fee based service. The only charge would be from each individual person’s mobile phone carrier. In other words, whatever someone would normally pay for their own mobile usage. So many people have unlimited usage plans. This means the mobile phone carrier won’t charge anything extra.

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  6. Does this Shout text number work in the US? I tried it but It said service is not available.

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    1. It’s U.K. only.

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    2. It’s U.K. only.

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    3. You’d probably have to put in the country code and thus incur international charges. Also, since this is a UK public service they likely do restrict services to UK based phone numbers only.

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    4. It's only available in the UK but for the US, you can text Crisis Text Line (see above)

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  7. What a wonderful initiative!
    I really like how HT is progressing.
    Nancy Lublin remark is so true: What Diana did to remove the stigma of AIDS, William (and Kate) is now doing for mental health. It was Kate's idea and it shows her ability to think out of the box and have a global picture of a problem. IMO she has an analytical mind and common sense, a great combination. She is able to see the problems and search for their causes.
    I think it must have been gratifying for them to see HT thrive. I remember William's frustration when he realized Social media companies had no wish to tackle cyberbullying, and he was powerless.

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  8. I’m glad to see the Cambridges and Sussexes working to launch this project together. I think this will be a great tool.

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  9. I'm so impressed by what both William and Kate and Harry and Meghan are doing. I wish the media could stop creating drama and focus on the positive. The royals handle the attention admirably. What great execution of a very important cause.

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  10. Thank you Charlotte for this important post. What a wonderful development which should do for mental health and become as great a service as the lifeline/crisis lines all over the world are. So very well done. i have been reflecting today on the the young royals journeys and how much criticism there was when Heads Together was launched as being all froth and no substance and how over the intervening years there has been a steady development in many mental health areas of works of substance and not only by WK HM but also by many other members of the Royal Family. I think it goes to the essence of the Royal Family that as a family they are at the forefront of the two defining issues of our time - impact on the environment and mental health. I am also delighted that as a whole the Royals are now using social media. The court circular was a bit dry but a lovely reminder of times very long past when it began to deal with another combative media. Very much of the time brief and factual no colour or emotion in officialdom. I was one of the commenters here very much in favour of the move by the family to use social media as a vehicle for communication and I do enjoy the recent embrace of instagram. Now it is so easy to be an idea of what the entire family are up to with details of the work and supported by photographs. It is all there without competing for the major headline. Yes the comments are a big negative often but one does not need to read them and I don’t. I presume the comment sections are open so the palace communication people can get a bit of a feel for the pulse of the people. Also useful. But most importantly my thanks go to you Charlotte. Your blogs are beautifully written and researched and we are very lucky that you have chosen to share your writing with us all. Thank you so much. Libby

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  11. William... "We've been working behind the scenes."

    enjoyed Rebecca's sharing William's embarrassment and Catherine's typical crack-up. By the way, how distrustful of the media could William be if the DM 4394534 was seated directly behind him?

    Was Kate wearing her Curry Dark outfit? This KP event was actually yesterday , with William and Catherine attending? Despite the photo embargo, the reporters managed to give a good picture of the doings.

    I am on my last nerve with auto correct. Ha!

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    1. Haha! Don’t you just love autocorrect? :P

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    2. You should see what it did with greybirdk, Kiwi.
      "Curry Dark?" Yikes! Sounds like something from "Tales from the Crypt." Or maybe a Calcutta restaurant .

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  12. This is great idea. So glad to see this post here. I read here regularly and follow Kate. Not too much commenting, but really love the blog. Thank you so much for your work here.

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  13. Brilliant!!! The Fab Four can set the world on fire highlighting worthy causes that they're collaborate on! Interesting when William speaks no one comments on his look, clothes, hair or lack of lol, etc. I know it's fun to look at Duchess Kate & Meghan's outfits & hair but let's keep it light & fun & keep it in perspective to what they're trying to accomplish.

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    1. But then William has only 3 or 4 outfits. We have said everything that could be said about them already. 🙃
      But seriously it is a double edged sword. Yes, when William (or Harry) speaks nobody comments on what they wear but they also get significantly less media (both traditional and SM) coverage.

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  14. This is a very tangible program and I really commend the four of them for their work on it! It is something that a young person would use who had no awareness of its origin. It seems like a very big step from taking about a problem to enacting solutions, and I really cannot express how impressed I am. I also like the hug given by Kate; it is a very sincere and powerful hug. And it is great to know that the four of them were working together without our knowledge. :)

    I realize that Harry and William had serious issues as a result of their mother's death, but William once said the mental health work was Kate's idea. I now believe it was, because of her brother. I imagine the whole family was very worried about him, and he seems to be in a great place today mentally. Whether you have wealth or not, mental illness is very dangerous, but SHOUT can help people who have no other resources.

    It's interesting that a US model was used. In other areas of mental health in the US, many years ago the field transitioned from one where you would receive care in a facility to in the community. Great idea, but what happened was the facilities lost funding and little was available for the communities. Probably one reason call lines were created, to try to meet some of the needs. Suicide is a big problem in the US including among veterans, and sometimes an appt takes 6 months.

    There is going to be so much for the two families to do work-wise and children-wise that we should not expect to see them together much, but it's lovely to know that they are still "together".

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  15. I wonder if live photos were discouraged since it would have just been William and Catherine and the emphasis was that it was a Foundation initiative. Since Harry and Meghan were featured in the promo videos those were used without current photos.

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  16. I agree with others who have said how very important this work is, and how wonderful it is that the Cambridge and Sussex couples have chosen to take the stigma from getting help for mental health problems. I have noticed that the nurses who come to check on my mother, who is under hospice care now, always ask about her mental health. Some might think it does not matter much now that she is at the very end of her life, but these questions are very welcome in my view. Nobody should suffer from that kind of pain if it can be helped. I'm sitting on the sidelines cheering the Royal Foundation.

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    1. Thinking of you and your mother during these hard times. <3

      Julie

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  17. hmm i think a great cost and i love their great mind imso inspiration what a wonderful and great cost really inspiring though

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  18. What a wonderful initiative! Thank you, Charlotte, for keeping us informed. :)

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  19. Royal 👑 Watcher11 May 2019 at 07:06

    Oh wow, how impressive! I’m so happy about the work that the two couples do together. Amazing xxx

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  20. Wonderful initiative!!

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  21. Fantastic intiative! It's just such a noble cause !

    Once again, great job Charlotte !

    Elisabeth, Carcassonne, France

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  22. It seems like we are entering an era in which both couples will be stepping up the amount of work they do, as best they can while caring for young children. We must remember that they are not competing against each other. There will be days when they have events on the same day, but it won't be to try to outdo the other one. :) They have different roles, which is very comfortable, but their goals will sometimes overlap.

    I'm thinking about the upcoming flower show and Kate's designed garden. It is a wonderful concept and comes from her heart. She grew up with the beauty of the outdoors, and I can relate to her love of it; I grew up in Penn and often had cornfields and hills and woods and wild berry batches to keep me company. She is exactly right that every child needs and will benefit from such exposure, and scouting is one way to help.

    M&H are associated with the CAMFED organization, and their design has a completely different purpose (I know that M&H had no input into the actual design). Their cause is an extremely important cause, but the two designs can stand together as two ways of tackling the world's problems, much like the two couples are doing. I hope that there can be discussion of the two designs, as well as the many other entries, some of which look more interesting than these two, in the media that allows for the benefits to be the focus.

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  23. Great work by the gang! Very impressed... I hope to see more work done in this much-needed area & they are leading the way.

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  24. Thought I would share this article that I read about William and Harry. I think Miguel Head has conveyed very well, more true insight to the brothers privately than what some of the "mainstream" press would have us believe. I found him very articulate and that some of what he said, regarding the royal family, and how they are guided by a set of principles and a sense of values, reminded me of the many times Julia tried to convey to us about the monarchy and being a royalist. Miss her well written commentary and learning from her. But thought this was a nice positive piece about the brothers and their approach to the media. This mental health campaign is going full launch as I came across a video of William discussing with many men in sports, the importance of men's mental health. LOVE this initiative! cc

    https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/04/former-press-secretary-to-william-and-harry-dishes/?fbclid=IwAR2fxEzzRjWrIKAWyTPs-KkQs5l7LDiTXWVFLse4SUm2rAGp7HCP3ku4Szs

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    1. Thanks for the link to the article. It was a good read, and you’re right, it reinforces some of what Julia used to talk about the monarchy and what it means to royalists, also while acknowledging that times change and the royals must too, to a certain degree.

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    2. I know everybody is looking forward to see shared engagements between the Cambridges and Sussexes, especially to negate the whole feud narrative. But I think in the current climate this type of engagement is a much better idea. It is a joined project between both couples, showing that even though their offices split they are still working together. Without throwing all 4 of them in front of cameras with everybody dissecting every move, hand gesture and facial expression. I hopr to see more of this in the coming year.

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    3. You are right Anon23, the need for monarchy to hold their traditions and principles is very important, but so must the monarchy know when and how to evolve and allow for the newer generation to make their identifying mark and contribution. I also agree with you Rachel ZA. I think the Cambridges and Sussexes are more effective in their separate appearances championing their unifying charities. The play by play analysis when they are all four together is exhausting and distracting from the purpose; save for family and traditional events. I think the four recognize this and are willing to unite behind the scenes and let the merit of their cause and charity to be the focus. "Never explain, just do." I would hope to see more of this in the coming year as well. cc

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    4. Valerie in Arizona13 May 2019 at 08:09

      Anon23, you mentioned Julia. I really miss her commentaries on the RF. I hope she isn’t sick, I haven’t seen her post for a long while. Mind, I don’t post very often anymore either. I found that it is more peaceful to read Charlotte’s wonderful posts :)

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    5. Royal 👑 Watcher14 May 2019 at 06:31

      I miss Julia’s posts as well. I also wonder how royalfan is going? And how is Rebecca going? Does anyone know?

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  25. There's an old saying from the 1940s (albeit a bit sexist) "behind every great man is a great woman" and William and Harry hit the jackpot with their spouses. Catherine, comfortable and effective "behind the scenes" and Meghan, comfortable and effective on the "front lines" these are two fantastic formable women and they will support those boys to become the great men they are destined to be. I admire Kate and Meg immensely!
    Shout in the UK like Crisis Text in the US will save many young lives. No matter what obstacles lie ahead I think these four remarkable people are going to make a huge difference globally.

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    1. Ether struck again. Hope this isn't a double post.
      Any news on who will be attending the royal wedding Saturday, other than the Queen? William has a previously scheduled event. I do not know whether Catherine would attend without him. Perhaps with Harry?
      C&C have returned from Germany. I don't know if they have returned to CH, however. The were staying at their home in Scotland the weeks prior to the tour and missed a few royal events. Usually if HM is attending that means there will be a good turnout from the royals.I am sure the Kent family will be out in force.
      William has been doing most investitures for HM as well as keeping up with his own charities and patronages. Other than the Mental Health Week activities he has events for United for Wildlife and the FA this week.

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  26. Very relevant & forward thinking. Fun that the 4 are working together!

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