The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has granted nearly £1.8 million in supporting the frontline community and the nation’s mental health, through a bespoke fund which was set up as part of the organisation’s response to COVID-19.
The grants – made to ten leading charities at the heart of mental health and frontline support – build on the work that The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has already done in recent months to support those on the frontline of the pandemic in the UK, and the mental health sector.
Earlier this week, The Duke and Duchess spoke to four representatives from organisations which will benefit from the fund, including two emergency responders and two mental health counsellors. They heard about the challenges facing organisations and how mental health support will be needed both for those working on the frontline and those delivering vital support to the nation.
“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,” said The Duchess of Cambridge.
As a result of The Royal Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, and 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, building on the support that is already available from other sources, including employers and Our Frontline.
“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,” said The Duke of Cambridge.
To support the nation’s mental health during this time, but also in the months and years ahead, grants have been given to mental health charities to increase their capacity for helpline and chat services to meet rising demand.
Together, the grants made through the COVID-19 Response Fund ensure that:
All emergency responders will have access to individual grief trauma counselling from Hospice UK;
Over 250,000 emergency responders will have access to peer-to-peer support through Mind’s Blue Light programme;
The Ambulance Staff Charity will be able to provide an additional 2,780 hours of support for the UK’s ambulance community;
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) will be able to respond to 2,300 more contacts each month;
Shout 85258 will be able to have 250 more text message conversations with people who are struggling to cope every day;
The Mix will expand their group chat service for young people to seven days per week;
Teachers, children and their parents will be supported to cope with mental health needs, including self-care and managing anxiety as schools re-open, thanks to training and resources from Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre; and
An additional 20,000 new mothers will be supported by Best Beginnings, thanks to a community mental health training project to reach pregnant women and new parents.
Funding will also build the capacity of the Heads Together partners as they work together on campaigning activity to directly address the nation’s mental health as the population adjusts to life after COVID-19.