Fab four reunite: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William and Kate Middleton become first royals to feature in an advert as they join together to as voices of NHS mental health campaign on TV tonight
- The royals will narrate a short film launching the Every Mind Matters campaign
- The three-minute video will be screened simultaneously during ad breaks on Sky, Channel 4, ITV, Channel 5 and MTV
- It will be shown to an estimated 10.3 million UK viewers in a ‘broadcaster first’
Harry and Meghan today join forces with William and Kate to lead a government campaign that promises to revolutionise mental health.
The four royals have reunited to launch an NHS resource that will provide personalised advice for people struggling with stress, depression or poor sleep.
From today, millions of Britons can use the Every Mind Matters website to receive a tailored ‘action plan’ containing clinically-proven steps to improve their mental health.
In a moment of television history, a short film promoting the new resource will be broadcast simultaneously across all commercial channels at 8.45pm tonight.
The Dukes and Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex (pictured) are launching a new mental health campaign
It is the first ever ‘television takeover’ and will be watched by around 11 million people.
The film was written by Love Actually director Richard Curtis and is narrated by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
It features celebrities including Davina McCall, Bradley Wiggins and Gillian Anderson talking about their own experiences of mental health problems.
Prince William says: ‘All over the country, millions of us face challenges to our mental health – at all ages – at all intensities, and for all sorts of reasons. We feel stressed, low, anxious or have trouble sleeping.’
It is the first ever ‘television takeover’ and will be watched by around 11 million people. Pictured: a shot from the ad
The film was written by Love Actually director Richard Curtis and is narrated by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (pictured: Jordan Stephens)
Former actress Meghan says: ‘From today, there’s a new way to help turn things around. Every Mind Matters will show you simple ways to look after your mental health.’
The new NHS online platform – which has been endorsed by all major charities and leading doctors – involves a short questionnaire asking about mood, sleep and any worries you have.
After filling in the questionnaire, people are given a tailored ‘mind plan’ featuring practical tips and resources to improve their mental health.
For example, someone who is worried about money will be pointed towards local debt advice services. And people who sleep badly are given tips such as turning off their phone an hour before bed.
It is intended to complement existing NHS mental health services by preventing day-to-day worries escalating into serious mental health problems that require medication.
The new resource was hailed as a ‘sea change’ by the head of the NHS.
It will be recommended by GPs to millions of patients as a first-line solution to stress or low mood, helping to overcome Britain’s dependence on antidepressants.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the tool will empower patients to be proactive and invest in their mental health in the same way as physical health.
Mr Hancock said: ‘Both mental and physical health should be treated both as an asset that needs to be nurtured, rather than something that should just be fixed when it goes wrong
‘Every Mind Matters will benefit us all with an accessible tool to help manage our wellbeing at the click of a button. It will offer vital support to those living with a mental health condition and give each of us valuable and personalised tips on how to better cope with life’s daily struggles.’
In a moment of television history, a short film promoting the new resource will be broadcast simultaneously across all commercial channels at 8.45pm tonight
From today, millions of Britons can use the Every Mind Matters website to receive a tailored ‘action plan’ containing clinically-proven steps to improve their mental health. Pictured: a shot from the advert
In addition to the website, there will also be new offline resources for patients who prefer not to use the internet, such as leaflets in GP surgeries detailing practical tips.
To coincide with the launch, Public Health England (PHE) have conducted a major study revealing the scale of mental ill-health in Britain.
They found that eight in ten people have experienced early signs of poor mental health including feeling anxious, stressed, having low mood or trouble sleeping in the past year.
Yet over a quarter of these people waited at least six months before taking action to manage their mental health.
PHE said the new Every Mind Matters platform, which has been tested in a pilot in the midlands, will benefit millions of people.
It features celebrities including Davina McCall, Bradley Wiggins, Nadiya Hussain (pictured) and Gillian Anderson talking about their own experiences of mental health problems
John Newton, from Public Health England, said: ‘We know that this resource is needed because many people lack the knowledge or confidence to take action on their mental health and many wait too long to do so.
‘There are an awful lot of people who fall into the group who could benefit from it. People who are developing early symptoms and signs of poor mental health are the core target. The evidence is that it also benefits people with severe mental illness, although it’s not primarily addressed to them.
‘We’re expecting a relatively small effect across a very large number of people, it’s not something that should be seen as a solution on it’s own for mental health problems. It’s not instead of seeing a GP or a psychiatrist if you need to.’
Mental ill-health is estimated to costs the UK nearly £100 billion a year, according to the OECD. There are concerns that stigma means people wait too long to address signs of poor mental health.
This can cause symptoms deteriorate and has led to an overprescription of antidepressants, with one in six British adults currently taking the drugs.
The campaign has taken 18 months to put together. The celebrities featured in the three-minute film – including Freddie Flintoff, Davina McCall, Bake Off’s Nadiya Hussain, and actress Glenn Close – all donated their time for free.
It marks the reunion of the royal ‘Fab Four’ amid reports of a feud between Prince William and Harry that led to a complete split in their royal households earlier this year.
Mr Hancock said: ‘I want to put on record my admiration for the way the Princes and the Duchesses have contributed to changing how society in the UK, and around the world, think about mental health and their own bravery in speaking out about it.
‘This is one of the most clear examples of them taking that lead and supporting us in a very important project.’
Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: ‘Over the past few years there’s been a profound sea change in public attitudes and awareness about mental health.
To coincide with the launch, Public Health England (PHE) have conducted a major study revealing the scale of mental ill-health in Britain
The four royals have reunited to launch an NHS resource that will provide personalised advice for people struggling with stress, depression or poor sleep (the logo is pictured)
‘So at the same time the NHS is expanding the availability of specialist mental health support and treatment, people are increasingly interested in practical steps they can take themselves to prevent and manage common mental health problems such as anxiety, stress and depression.
‘That’s where Every Mind Matters comes in, as a helpful complement to the work of NHS mental health teams and services.’
Every Mind Matters is backed by a coalition of mental health charities and groups including, including Mind, Samaritans and the Royal College of GPs.
Companies including Nationwide, Greggs, and the ngland and Wales Cricket Board have also pledged to adopt the resource for their employees, customers and fans.
Former actress Meghan (pictured with Harry on their recent tour to Africa) says: ‘From today, there’s a new way to help turn things around. Every Mind Matters will show you simple ways to look after your mental health’
Prince William (pictured with his wife Kate Middleton) says: ‘All over the country, millions of us face challenges to our mental health’
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: ‘Modern life can be very stressful, and GPs are seeing a steady increase in the number of patients coming to us with issues relating to their mental health.
The College has long been calling for parity between mental and physical health, so we are pleased to endorse this excellent resource, with its simple but effective steps for taking better care of ourselves. We hope it will be valuable for patients and the healthcare professionals who look after them.’
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: ‘Mind has been helping develop Every Mind Matters, to empower people with the tools they need to deal with everyday causes of stress, anxiety, low mood and trouble sleeping.
‘Taking proactive steps like increasing physical activity and connecting with others can help prevent these issues developing into more serious mental health problems further down the line.
‘At a time when only a third of people with a mental health problem get access to any kind of help and support, it’s important to do whatever we can to help people take steps to stay well and try and prevent mental health problems developing in the first place.’
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