Podcast 8 – A Duke and Duchess of Cambridge charity is credited with saving the life of 12-year-old boy.
Manage episode 286703976 series 2853497
Around November 2017, William and Kate's and Harry and Meghan’s joint Heads Together Campaign and their then combined Royal Foundation, founded a UK charity called Mental Heath Innovations or MHI for short. The aim of this charity was to identify potential digital tools for supporting people struggling with their mental health. The young Royals had by then been working hard for many years to break down the stigma that surrounded mental health and were dedicated to ensuring appropriate tools existed.
In May 2018, MHI piloted a program called SHOUT 85258 a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service free for anyone struggling to cope. The program went public in May of 2019 and is still sponsored by William and Kate’s Royal Foundation.
The SHOUT 85258 service works in a very simple way. A person basically sends a text message to the service. The person then receives an immediate digital response and within a few minutes is connected to a SHOUT volunteer who deals with any immediate concerns and then triages the person to assess what services they should be directed to.
Kate and William got to meet with the family of a 12-year-old boy whose family credits the service with saving their son’s life.
In an emotional video call William and Kate got to hear how Jack (not his real name) was once an open and fun loving boy, then had become more introverted during the Covid-19 lockdowns. They heard how he was spending increasing amounts of time on his own, no longer connecting with his friends online or on the phone, and struggling with online school.
The parents told William and Kate how Jack became increasingly anxious about the future, about whether life would ever get back to some sort of normality. It was when Jack returned to school that his anxiety really escalated. His family did not realize how bad it had become.
Jack’s parents explained how he had reached out to Shout in a pivotal moment and during a text conversation, a volunteer had been able to prevent Jack from ending his life.
Jack is just one of the people that have been rescued after being able to send a simple text message to the SHOUT service.
Keep listening out for future podcasts about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.