Sharnaz ShahidThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge received an update about the impact of the Shout crisis text message support service so far, at a celebration event in White City.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a joint engagement on Tuesday morning, attending Shout's Crisis Volunteer celebration event, at the Troubadour White City Theatre in London. The 24/7 text message support service was launched by Prince William, Kate and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May 2019. During the engagement, William and Kate learned about the impact of the helpline so far, including that 75% of people who contact Shout are under 25, and that the most frequent subjects raised in those conversations are suicide (37%), depression (36%), relationships (29%), anxiety (31%), isolation (19%) and self-harm (17%).
The Duke and Duchess also met some of the service's 1,500 volunteers, during their visit, as well as mental health campaigners and supporters. Before leaving the theatre, they also watched a special performance. Keep clicking for more photos...
The royals comforted the father of teenager Molly Russell today who killed herself after viewing graphic suicide content on Instagram. William, who has been highly critical of tech giants in their response to online bullying and other problems, questioned whether companies like Instagram were doing enough when he and Kate met Ian Russell at an event for volunteers who help people in crisis.
William wrote to Mr Russell and his family earlier this year, offering his support. Molly, 14, from Harrow in northwest London, took her own life in November 2017 after viewing graphic material on self-harm and suicide.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at the Troubadour White City Theatre in London to attend a volunteer celebration event with the charity Shout, meeting people from across the UK who give their time to the text service.
As volunteers access their shifts from computers in their own homes, this event will be an excellent opportunity for this virtual community to meet and see the scale of the national network they have joined.
Shout is a 24/7 text support service which was researched and developed by The Royal Foundation as a legacy of the Heads Together Campaign, with a £3million investment. It was launched by Kate and William as well as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May 2019.
Since the service went live, Shout 85258 Crisis Volunteers have had 145,000 conversations via text with people in crisis, exchanging 6 million messages.
In an off-the-cuff speech, William paid tribute to the volunteers, saying: "Catherine and I heard outside about how many of you are waking up at 3am to answer the peak demand. The fact we’ve had to launch Shout shows just how in need the mental health sector is at the minute.We still have an enormous challenge ahead of us. Catherine and I, and I know I speak for Harry and Meghan as well, couldn’t be more proud of what Shout has accomplished."
The couple joined volunteers on stage and posed for a group photo.
Kate, 37, looked lovely as ever in a simple white top, a grey check blazer by Smythe and a pair of burgundy cropped trousers from Joseph, as well as black block heel shoes.