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Prince William expresses worries about NHS staff as he appears on the One Show 

The Cambridges have been supporting frontline workers during the COVID-19 crisis

Danielle Stacey

The Duke of Cambridge has warned of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on NHS staff's mental health, as he made a special appearance on BBC's One Show on Thursday night. While William said that frontline workers have rightly been hailed as "heroes," he urged caution around using the word, saying it could alienate some who may feel they "have to be this strong pillar of strength" and cannot ask for help to support their mental health.

 

In a video clip, shown on the BBC's One Show, the Duke said: "We made the NHS frontline staff, rightly, heroes. But in doing so, we once again, give them the burden that we gave our soldiers fighting in the war, where everyone was so grateful and wanted to show their appreciation as to their fighting for their freedoms and everything. And I think we've got to be very careful with the language that we use.

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"They should rightly be hailed as superstars, and brave, and wonderful staff; but I'm very conscious from a mental health point of view that we don't alienate some of them.

"Where they feel that once they have this hero tag, they can no longer shake that, and therefore they can't ask for support, they have to be this strong pillar of strength, when actual fact what we need them to be is examples of positive mental health.

"Doing the job, beating this pandemic, helping and caring for so many people, but also looking after themselves so that they come through this in one piece and we're not having broken NHS staff all over the country."

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The Cambridges clap for frontline workers

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge launched the Our Frontline initiative in April, which brings together a number of services to provide workers with round-the-clock one-to-one support. William and Kate also visited an NHS 111 call centre in March and have spoken with various doctors, nurses and key workers by video call during lockdown. The Cambridges' children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, have also shown their support during Clap for Carers.

The Duke's comments were recorded during filming for a documentary being shown on the BBC on Thursday evening that looks at the mental health of men through the prism of football.

Football, Prince William And Our Mental Health will be broadcast on Thursday at 8.05pm on BBC One.

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