William records mental health video message for national church service

Duke of Cambridge - (Copyright PA Archive)
18:17pm, Fri 22 May 2020
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The Duke of Cambridge will call on those experiencing issues to seek help when he joins a national Church of England service marking the end of mental health week.

In a video message, pre-recorded for Sunday’s online event, William will urge those with problems to speak out – just as he did in a public statement made at the start of the week.

During that earlier message, the duke also advised the nation to “reach out to someone” struggling with psychological problems during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Reverend Professor Gina Radford, a vicar in Devon and a former deputy chief medical Officer for England, will lead the Sunday service and say in her sermon Mental Health Awareness Week has had a “particular significance” this year as more people struggle with their well-being.

She will go on to say: “For some people of faith this is particularly challenging. Surely, we might ask, my faith should get me through? But we need to face the reality that we are human – we are body, mind and spirit. We are all susceptible to mental ill-health, just as we are to physical ill-health.”

Reverend Professor Chris Cook, director of the Centre for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Durham University and a former professor of psychiatry, will say prayers for all those whose mental health has suffered because of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Other contributors to the service will include Jenny Flannagan from the charity Youthscape.

Ms Flannagan, who works to support those aged 14 to 19 struggling with self-harm, will talk about the impact of Covid-19 on young people’s mental health.

She will say: “Lots of young people are finding their anxiety is increasing, not knowing what is going to happen in the future. Lots of them are stuck in really difficult family situations, some of them are dealing with grief.”

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