Prince William and Kate back initiative to safeguard our mental health during lockdown

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince L

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis after Prince Louis's christening at St James's Palace Picture: PA Archive/Dominic Lipinski. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge have backed a new initiative to boost our mental health.

The couple are riding out the coronavirus pandemic at Anmer Hall, on the Sandringham Estate, with their three young children.

Sign up for the latest updates about coronavirus in NorfolkPublic Health England has launched new guidance on how to look after your own wellbeing as well as that of children and other dependants during the shutdown.

The guidance, which can be found on its website, offers tips on staying in touch with loved ones using video calls and social media, as well as establishing a healthy sleep pattern or starting a new hobby.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said: “The last few weeks have been anxious and unsettling for everyone.

“We have to take time to support each other and find ways to look after our mental health.

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“It is great to see the mental health sector working together with the NHS to help people keep on top of their mental wellbeing.

“By pulling together and taking simple steps each day, we can all be better prepared for the times ahead.”

MORE - Prince William, Kate and children ride out pandemic in NorfolkThe guidance, which was developed with the input of mental health charities and clinically assured by the NHS, also has points on how to help children manage stress.

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Published on PHE’s Every Mind Matters page, it includes tips such as being aware of your own reactions around children and creating a new routine for them.

Mental health minister Nadine Dorries, who was herself diagnosed with the virus, announced an additional £5m in funding to leading mental health charities to expand their services.

Ms Dorries said: “I know how important it is that people have support to look after their mental health and this guidance will be of huge value.”

Mind is one of a consortium of charities preparing to adapt and increase their services.

Paul Farmer, chief executive, said: “Reaching out to friends and family is critical, as well as paying attention to the impact our physical health can have on our mental health - from diet and exercise to getting enough natural light and a little fresh air.”

He added: “Whether we have an existing mental health problem or not, we are all going to need extra help to deal with the consequences of this unprecedented set of circumstances.”

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