KATE, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William have encouraged Britons to perform small acts of kindness to help “lift out of loneliness” people around us as they starred in this year’s Mental Health Minute. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s voices were transmitted by more than 500 radio stations today, May 13, as they read out this year’s Mental Health Minute message focused on loneliness. Kate and William have been taking part in the initiative for five years.
This year, for the first time, they voiced the entire minute-long message themselves. Their powerful address reached an estimated 20 million listeners and called on the country to help lift people out of loneliness. After noting the coronavirus pandemic and measures enforced to contain it reminded the whole world of the importance of human contact, the Duke and Duchess prompted listeners to reach out to those who may be feeling lonely.
The script narrated in turn by Kate and William read: “Hello, I’m Catherine.”And I’m William and we’d like to talk for just one minute about loneliness. “We’re all in different places right now. “Not just physically but mentally. “And we can all feel lonely sometimes. “No matter who – or where – we are.”We can feel it for many different reasons.”But we can all help each other feel less isolated and more connected.
“The past two years have really reminded us of the importance of human relationships. “So if you think someone you know may be feeling lonely, just give them a ring, send them a text or knock on their door. “Maybe suggest meeting for a cup of tea or a walk.”Because these small acts of kindness can make a big difference and help us all feel less lonely.
“So, apologies for interrupting every radio station in the country, but if we interrupt the lives of those who are feeling alone we can help lift them out of loneliness.” This year’s Minute is in support of Better Health – Every Mind Matters, which offers advice to tackle loneliness and provides NHS-approved tips to help people look after their mental wellbeing.
Every Mind Matters, a platform designed to encourage people to look after their mental health, was launched in April 2020 with the support of Kate and William, who took part in a video campaign accompanying its release. The broadcast of the Minute, created by Radiocentre and The Royal Foundation, comes after the release of new data by Community Life Survey showing young people feel the loneliest among all age groups.
Further research, carried out online by YouGov for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on a sample size of 2172 adults between March 14 and 15, cast a light on the stigma attached to loneliness, particularly felt by young adults. A whopping 59 percent of the people polled aged between 18 and 24 said they would not feel comfortable asking for help if they felt lonely. Moreover, 73 percent of people in this age group agreed there’s a stigma attached to loneliness and 67 percent of them do not feel that loneliness is a problem that is taken seriously by society.
At the same time, more than 8 in 10 young people recognise it’s perfectly fine to feel lonely sometimes and 82 percent do not agree that loneliness is something to feel embarrassed about. And while many don’t feel confident in addressing their own loneliness, 71 percent of those aged between 18 to 24 said they would, on the other hand, feel confident helping someone who was feeling lonely.
Commenting on the data, Minister for Civil Society and Youth Nigel Huddleston at the DCMS Department said: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are great champions of mental health awareness and we’re hugely grateful to have their support through the Mental Health Minute.”We know loneliness is having a disproportionate impact on our young people and this campaign offers easy to use guidance people can follow to improve their wellbeing.” Lucy Barrett, Client Director of Radiocentre said: “When we recorded the very first Mental Minute five years ago, it was clear from the start just how important this topic was to the millions of people listening.
“Despite reaching a broad audience, radio has a unique ability to bring people together and we hope that this year’s message will encourage people to understand that loneliness should not be ignored. “We’re so grateful to radio stations and their loyal listeners for continuing the national conversation on mental health.” Gillian Keegan, Minister of State for Care and Mental Health at the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Young people are very resilient, but we know they are often at risk of feeling isolated.
“We are accelerating the rollout of mental health support teams in schools and expanding community services, and there is lots of helpful advice and resources on the Better Health – Every Mind Matters website. “We’ve also recently opened a call for evidence to gather views from people of all ages to inform a new 10-year mental health plan to keep the nation in positive mental wellbeing.”