LONDON – The United Kingdom’s Prince William and Kate have highlighted the importance of mental health during the “stressful” coronavirus lockdown.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke about the issue during an interview with the BBC on Friday.
They encouraged people to use technology to keep in touch with their loved ones as many countries have imposed lockdowns to help control the spread of Covid-19.
UK authorities extended the country’s lockdown for another three weeks on Thursday after the number of hospital deaths exceeded 13,700 with 861 fatalities in one day.
The figure was a new record for the country, surpassing its previous peak of 780 deaths reported on Good Friday, but does not include anyone who died outside a health centre.
“If we are going to go forward with more time spent in lockdown, then there is going to be an ever-increasing need for people to look after their mental health and take it seriously and also know where to go to get the support they might need,” William told the BBC.
The duke, who is the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and second in line to the British throne, said many NHS workers have been absorbing the pain and loneliness felt by coronavirus patients.
“We’re not superhuman, any of us. So to be able to manage those emotions and that feeling is going to take some time after all this is over as well,” he added.
William highlighted that many people will feel “frustrated” by the accumulated “pressure, stress and isolation” of the lockdown.
He admitted that he felt anxious when his father Prince Charles tested positive for the virus.
The duke said he also worried about his grandparents the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, who are aged 93 and 98 respectively, but they have done everything possible to ensure they are protected and isolated.
Kate said during the interview that many people have been focusing on their physical health during the quarantine and urged them not to neglect their mental wellbeing.
“While that’s hugely important we mustn’t forget our mental wellbeing as well and making sure you’re reaching out to those people around you that you have access to - even if it’s over the phone or online to really make sure you have those conversations,” she added.
The royal couple said that homeschooling their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, had been “challenging” but that they were keeping to a schedule.
They urged anyone who is struggling to cope with the situation to seek help from health services online.