Prince William and Kate Middleton join forces to promote mental health causes

Prince William and Kate Middleton have been showing their commitment to raising awareness of mental health issues in young people, and on Thursday the royal couple joined forces for the cause. The Cambridges tackled the sensitive issue of suicide as they visited St Thomas' hospital in London.


Wearing her favorite shade of green, the Duchess arrived with Prince William at the hospital on Thursday morning, the first of a series of engagements the two have planned for this week. While at St Thomas' the royal couple learned about the work being done at the hospital to prevent suicide and to support those who have been bereaved by suicide.


The visit was the first of many join engagements the royal couple have scheduled this week Photo: Getty Images

They also met Jonny Benjamin, who was saved by a stranger when he tried to take his own life in 2008. He later launched the Find Mike campaign to find the man who saved him and was reunited with his rescuer, Neil Laybourn.

Now a mental health campaigner, Benjamin has praised William and Kate for the efforts they are making in addressing the issue, and joined Neil to meet the royal couple and share their own experiences.

Later in the afternoon Prince William and Kate will drop into a screening of a Channel 4 documentary Stranger on the Bridge, which focuses on Jonny's story. Around 20 south London schoolchildren have been invited to the screening at Kensington Palace.

It will be followed by a private discussion between William and Kate and a group of people who have been bereaved by suicide, to share their experiences and the support they have received since.

The royal couple will carry out another day of official engagements together on Friday. They are due to pay a visit to urban youth charity XLP to see the work carried out by their mentoring scheme XL Mentoring, which offers support to young people aged 11-18.


The Cambridges speak with with former patient Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn, right at the hospital Photo: Getty Images

Both Prince William and Kate are dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues, including suicide. William is said to have been called out to suicide cases involving young men through his work with the East Anglian Air Ambulance, leading him to want to focus on prevention efforts.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry are making mental health a major focus of their work in the year ahead. The Duke of Cambridge is particularly keen to better understand the difficult issues around suicide, bullying, and the mental health of young men.

"These are issues he has been exposed to both in his official work with homelessness charities and in his work as an air ambulance pilot."