Emergency responders working on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis will be able to access specialist grief support thanks to a new charitable fund from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Prince William and Kate’s Royal Foundation has given out £1.8million from a bespoke Covid-19 Response Fund to 10 leading charities at the heart of mental health and frontline support.
Together in partnership with NHS England, individual grief trauma counselling from Hospice UK will be available for all frontline workers.
In addition, over 250,000 emergency responders will have access to peer-to-peer support, training and mental health resources from Mind’s Blue Light mental health support programme.
Grants have been given to mental health charities to increase their capacity for helpline and chat services to meet rising demand.
Kensington Palace said it would help “support the nation’s mental health during this time, but also in the months and years ahead.”
The Ambulance Staff Charity will be able to provide an additional 2,780 hours of support for the UK’s ambulance community and the mental health text service Shout 85258 will be able to have 250 more text message conversations with people who are struggling to cope every day.
The couple this week met representatives in Sandringham from organisations that will benefit.
Speaking to frontline workers and mental health counsellors earlier in the week, The Duchess of Cambridge said: “Over recent months we have all been in awe of the incredible work that frontline staff and emergency responders have been doing in response to Covid-19, but we know that for many of them, their families, and for thousands of others across the UK, the pandemic will have a lasting impact on their mental health.”
The Duke added: “It’s great to hear how The Royal Foundation is supporting you and many others to build
resilience and give you the networks you need through its Covid-19 Response Fund, which will help ten leading charities continue their crucial work.”
Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, said: “We are delighted to be receiving this funding from The Royal Foundation.
“The grant will go a long way in enabling us to continue to provide support to those working in the emergency services, through our Blue Light Programme.
“It is so important, perhaps now more than ever, that the right information, advice, peer support services and training is easily accessible for our hardworking key workers, especially those of us who might be experiencing poor mental health.”
Diane Scott, Chair of The Ambulance Staff Charity, said: “The grant from The Royal Foundation will make a vast difference to the level of support we are able to provide to the ambulance community to help them cope with the impacts of Covid-19.
“The job they do can be stressful even in normal times and for TASC to be able to offer additional support to help cope with the increased pressures as a result of Covid-19 is
fantastic news and we are so grateful to The Royal Foundation for their support.”