Prince William, Duchess Kate and Prince Harry have launched a £2 million fund to help improve mental health in the UK. The money from the Royal Foundation will go towards ‘a start-up for digital mental health innovation’ to give the public access to help for mental health problems. Prince William spoke at the Data Observatory at Imperial College London, praising a research project which measured the success of the royal trio’s Heads Together campaign that supported this year’s London Marathon.
Prince William called the results ‘fantastic’, after 14,000 people were studied by YouGov. "I feel like it’s exam results day," said the Duke. The study revealed an increased awareness of mental health between February and May this year following the royals' campaign, with a total of 1.5 million more people talking about the subject. There was also an increase of 12% of people talking about their own mental health.
The study found that 68 per cent of people surveyed would now speak to a family member about a mental health issue. William said: "This also shows that support at home is quite key, isn’t it?" However, on the statistic that three quarters of suicides in the UK are men, he stated: "That’s still a worrying statistic though, it really is."
The Duke added: "At the beginning, we were trying to understand why at home people weren’t sharing some of their problems. If we’ve at least made a big impression there we can work on the wider societal aspects. But I think it all has to start at home. If you can’t even have a conversation with your loved ones, there’s no way you’re going to go to HR at work."
He continued: "The only thing, trying to extrapolate the data from this, is that these individuals who have spoken have probably got a reasonably good support network around them. Are we missing a whole set of people who have either been in care or who have had very bad experiences at young ages, who have bad mental health already? How do we affect that demographic?"
Father-of-two William also asked experts if they thought there had been enough impact in schools. He said: "You’d struggle to find a parent out there who wouldn’t want the well-being of their child to be taken care of at school."