Prince William and Princess Kate are on a mission to “break the stigma” of mental health. During a recent visit to Wales, the royal couple were seen meeting locals and taking part in plenty of activities.
But amid the enjoyment, they were there to see the crucial work being carried out in the area. Prince William and Kate were seen visiting an art and photography exhibition that aims to help build self-esteem and confidence among young people, and visited a special male community.
Chief executive of Mind, the mental health charity, Paul Farmer said, “They are great ambassadors for mental health. It allows us to tell a story to a wider community.”
“I am so impressed by the commitment they have to the issue of mental health, it is an issue that has been ignored for too long.”
Farmer continued to commend the royal couple on how they sit down and communicate with people. He saw their growing knowledge and understanding of the problems many face when living with a mental health problem.
He explained how important what they are doing is and how they are approaching the subject in a sensitive way. The public are talking about their commitment. They are noticing William and Kate’s support despite being at a time when the mental health services are under pressure.
Among the royal visits was the Men’s Sheds group, supported by Mind. The group uses creative therapy techniques to improve participants’ self-confidence.
71 year old Men’s Shed participant, Alan Maddocks showed William and Kate his work, consisting of mini wooden goblets. Maddocks was recommended to Men’s Sheds by his counsellor after his wife passed away.
“I was staring at the wall, it’s been the best thing for me since then. I’ve got a whole new life.”
“They were very relaxed. I was on a bit of a high. I thought I was scared but everything just came out.”
Earlier, the royal couple spoke to young people from Coleg Menai, which works alongside Mind. Lizzie Wintle, 25, showed Kate her photographs hanging in the exhibition with a written piece about her anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
“Kate was asking about my photographs and what beach they were taken on. She was saying how it’s important to keep talking about it. And for all of us here to talk about it.”