The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have called on people to help tackle loneliness, in a broadcast on Friday across UK radio stations.
The annual “Mental Health Minute” recorded by Prince William and Catherine focused on supporting people who might feel isolated or lonely.
The royal couple urged listeners to get in touch with isolated people and help to “lift them out of loneliness”.
Research has shown loneliness is a particular problem for young people.
“Give someone a ring, send a text or knock on their door,” says the duchess, calling on people to carry out “small acts of kindness” to make a connection with others.
The message begins with an informal, title-free introduction: “Hello. I’m Catherine… And I’m William and we’d like to talk.”
“We can all feel lonely sometimes,” says Prince William.
“No matter who or where we are,” replies Catherine.
The broadcast, created by the Royal Foundation and the commercial radio body Radiocentre, was intended to help remove some of the stigma around loneliness.
A survey published alongside the radio broadcast, commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, suggested higher levels of loneliness among the young.
Based on a sample of more than 2,000 adults, the Community Life Survey showed 11% of 18 to 24-year-olds felt lonely often or always, compared with 3% of those aged over 65.
But this younger age group was the least comfortable with asking for help about their feelings of loneliness.
More than two thirds of young people thought loneliness needed to be taken more seriously as an issue.
Research into loneliness during the lockdown had also shown young people were more likely to report feelings of loneliness.
“Young people are very resilient, but we know they are often at risk of feeling isolated,” said Gillian Keegan, minister for care and mental health.
For advice and support on mental health issues, visit the BBC Action Line website here.
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