There are few things more exciting for royal watchers than when the Fab Four – Prince William, Duchess Kate, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan – team up for a good cause. On Friday (May 10), the royal quad announced the launch of mental health initiative, Shout, that helps young people in crisis.
The Cambridge and Sussex houses officially split in October 2018, but there’s no denying they hold the same causes very close to their hearts and their outreach methods. Shout is a 24-hour service that connects people with volunteers who help them in their moment of need, and also assists them with finding long-term support for their mental health struggles.
These trained volunteers, with support from professionals, will reply to texts from people potentially struggling with suicidal thoughts, abuse, self-harm, bullying and other issues related to relationships. Shout has 1,000 volunteers right now, and fathe of three Prince William hopes to quadruple that number in the year. He has reached out to the public to help.
HELLO! Canada's sister brand HELLO! UK was able to join William and Kate at Kensington Palace, where they opened up about the initiative. “We are incredibly excited to be launching this service, knowing it has the potential to reach thousands of vulnerable people every day,” William shared. “Over the past few months Shout has started working quietly behind the scenes and Harry, Meghan, Catherine and I have 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 and 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: “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 anywhere, anytime; at school, home, on the bus, anywhere. I’m incredibly excited to be launching this service knowing it has the potential to reach thousands of vulnerable people every day.”
For those interested in becoming a volunteer, 25 hours of training will be required, along with two to four hours of work per week, which can be completed from the comfort of their home. “All volunteers need is a computer with a secure connection so they can complete online training and connect directly to those in need,” Kate shared. “The commitment for those keen to sign up is only between two to four hours a week, anytime, anywhere. It’s really that simple. This really is an important step for those in need.”
Shout is supported by the Royal Foundation and was created by Mental Health Innovations with Crisis Text Line, which has been operating successfully in the United States since 2013.