Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Team Up With Prince William & Kate Middleton to Launch Mental Health Service

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Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 11, 2019
RICHARD POHLE/AFP/Getty Images

The royal fab four are teaming up for an important cause.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William and Kate Middleton just announced that they're launching Shout, a new text messaging helpline in England that supports people dealing with a mental health crisis. The helpline, which connects those in need to trained volunteers, is free and will be open 24 hours a day. The press release notes that the text message service is especially meant to help younger people, for whom texting is often the preferred means of communication.

Shout already has 1,000 volunteers trained to help people experiencing a mental health crisis, and the goal is to have 4,000 by the end of the year.
 
"We are incredibly excited to be launching this service, knowing it has the potential to reach thousands of vulnerable people every day," Harry, Meghan, Will and Kate said in a joint statement. "Over the last few months Shout has started working quietly behind the scenes. We have all been able to see the service working up close and are so excited for its future."

"At the heart of this service will be an incredible national volunteer community, one which needs to grow to allow us to support more people in crisis," the statement continues. "We hope that many more of you will join us and be part of something very special."

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3 years ago Catherine, Harry and I kicked off the Heads Together campaign with our fantastic charity partners. As part of the legacy of the @heads_together campaign we wanted to do our bit to make it easier for people to start to get the help they need. The Royal Foundation has made its biggest ever investment to do just that. And we want you to be a part of it. @giveusashoutinsta is a new textline that supports people who need advice in a tough moment. It operates 24-7, and connects people to trained volunteers who provide help at a time when it is most needed, enabling them to move from crisis to calm and to find longer term support. At the heart of Shout will be an incredible national volunteer community, one which needs to grow to allow us to support more people in crisis. I hope that many more of you will join us and be part of something very special — The Duke of Cambridge

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“We are incredibly excited to be launching this service, knowing it has the potential to reach thousands of vulnerable people every day. Over the last few months Shout has started working quietly behind the scenes. We have all been able to see the service working up close and are so excited for its future. At the heart of this service will be an incredible national volunteer community, one which needs to grow to allow us to support more people in crisis. We hope that many more of you will join us and be part of something very special.” — The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the launch of @GiveUsAShoutInsta. Shout is a new text messaging helpline that supports people in crisis. It operates 24/7 and connects people in need to trained volunteers who provide help at a time when it is most needed; enabling them to move from a moment of crisis to a calm state and form a plan for next steps to find longer-term support. As texting is private and silent, it opens up a whole new way to find help. It provides instant support - you can have a conversation at any time – at school, at home, on the bus, anywhere. This service is for everyone, but for younger people especially, texting is a trusted and familiar form of communication, and using text rather than apps makes it simple and accessible for everyone with a phone. Shout is powered by a team of volunteers who are at the heart of the service. They are trained to create a safe space for people experiencing mental health challenges. The programme is unique with the training and volunteering all done online, under the supervision of qualified clinicians. Working remotely, volunteers are part of a supportive and connected online community of 1,000, with the ambition of boosting that community to 4,000 by the end of the year. Interested in volunteering? Visit @GiveUsAShoutInsta or the link in our bio to find out more.

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The launch of Shout is a part of the royals' Heads Together campaign initiative to help shoot down the stigmas surrounding mental health awareness and treatment. Shout is supported by The Royal Foundation, the main royal charity set up for the four to carry out their philanthropic work, which Meghan officially joined last June.

The fab four have worked continuously to encourage more conversations about mental health. On Wednesday, 36-year-old Will and 37-year-old Kate visited Caernarfon Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter Base in North Wales, where they had a discussion about mental health while meeting individuals and organizations who are encouraging people to look after their communities and protect the natural environment. And last month, Harry announced that he and Oprah Winfrey will be co-creators and executive producers on an upcoming mental health documentary series for Apple.

"I truly believe that good mental health -- mental fitness -- is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities and a purpose-driven self," Harry said in a statement about the upcoming collaboration with Oprah. "It is a huge responsibility to get this right as we bring you the facts, the science and the awareness of a subject that is so relevant during these times. Our hope is that this series will be positive, enlightening and inclusive -- sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places, and the opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better."

Meanwhile, 34-year-old Harry and 37-year-old Meghan introduced their newborn son -- and revealed his name, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor -- to the world on Wednesday. Watch the video below for more.

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