The Duke and Duchess joined frontline staff and counselors this week to talk about the severe impact the pandemic is having on workers’ mental health.
During Wednesday’s call, the royals learned about mental health support that frontline workers are getting through Hospice UK’s Just ‘B’ counseling and bereavement support line. They spoke with Just ‘B’ counselors Tony Collins (center, middle row) and Caroline Francis (right, middle row) and heard about the immense toll the pandemic is having on frontline staff. Here is a clip from the call.
Bereavement is never easy, especially for frontline workers during these unprecedented times.
It is so important to have services like Just ‘B’, who provide a listening ear for those coping with the loss of colleagues, loved ones, and people they care for. pic.twitter.com/5pmr0IiNDw
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) January 15, 2021
The situation is dire as healthcare workers try to handle the crush of cases. On Tuesday, The NY Times reported, “As a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus continues to tear through Britain — with an estimated one in 30 people in London currently infected — hospitals are on the verge of being overwhelmed, even as authorities struggle to convince the public of the urgency of the moment.” Below, the London Eye last Thursday night, one of many landmarks lit up in blue as a sign of support for NHS workers.
This Guardian story helps explain the scope of the problem.
There are now 50% more coronavirus patients in UK hospitals than in April, with Prof Chris Whitty saying this week that the health service faces its worst month of the pandemic.
More than one in seven clinicians and nearly one in five nurses working in ICU reported thoughts of self-harm or suicide, according to the study, published in the journal Occupational Medicine.
More from Kensington Palace.
During the call, NHS staff and emergency responders spoke about their personal experiences with mental health, and how services such as Just ‘B’ have allowed them to cope better and begin to come to terms with their grief. They also acknowledged the need to continue to encourage frontline workers to utilise mental health resources, with stigma preventing staff from seeking support for themselves during such a busy period for health and social care providers and the emergency services.
Hospice UK’s Just ‘B’ support line is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm.
The Royal Foundation’s support for the Just ‘B’ service was announced in July. More about the COVID-19 fund from The Royal Foundation:
The Royal Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund is the Foundation’s first crisis response fund, and reinforces The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s ongoing commitment to the frontline community and the nation’s mental health – two of the areas that will continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the months and years ahead. The grants will allow mental health charities to increase their capacity for helpline and chat services to meet rising demand.
Grant monies from the COVID-19 Response Fund have been supplemented by Our Frontline, a collaborative initiative that provides free, round-the-clock resources for all frontline staff and key workers.
UPDATE: With thanks to Elizabeth for the heads-up, a 6-minute video is available online.
Now for a glance at what Kate Wore on Wednesday.
It looks like she brought back a Smythe blazer first noted at an October 2018 Coach Core engagement.
The jacket is a wool/linen/nylon blend described as having a “…traditional riding blazer feel.” The piece has a fitted silhouette with angled, oversized pocket flaps, a contrast collar, large leather buttons at the front, and a back vent.
This will be the third time we have seen the Duchess wearing the jacket; Kate wore it again in November 2019.
I did not see enough of the Duchess’s earrings to ID them. UPDATE JAN 16: I have tried getting screengrabs offering a better look at the earrings but have not been successful enough to venture a guess about the pair.
I will see you next week with another poll!