Prince William is continuing to do his bit to raise awareness of mental health, especially amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Duke of Cambridge launched Blue Light Together Thursday, which is a package of mental health support for the emergency services. He made the announcement at The Royal Foundation’s Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium.

Ahead of the event, the royal spoke to emergency care assistant Chloe and paramedic Will for a video shared on YouTube, in which the pair shared their experiences working as emergency responders and the mental health impact that this can have. They also discussed coping mechanisms and the need for emergency responders to be given the tools and support to be able to cope.

The film was played at Thursday’s Symposium, which saw 200 leaders from across fire, ambulance, police, and search and rescue from all four nations come together for the first time to address the mental health of their workforces.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick applaud during The Royal Foundation’s Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium at Camden HouseLABS Triangle on November 25, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Matthews-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick applaud during The Royal Foundation’s Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium at Camden HouseLABS Triangle on November 25, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Matthews-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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William, who worked with the East Anglian Air Ambulance from 2015 to 2017, shared of his own experiences: “In the air ambulance any job I went to with children, that really affected me, much more than I think if I hadn’t had children actually.

“So, for me, it was the relationship with my personal life with essentially the family or the incident I was at – I found that very difficult.

“There were a number of times when I had to take myself away because I was just getting too involved in it and feeling it.

“And then I’d go to talk to someone else after the event, which was really important, but it continues, it doesn’t really leave you there – you just manage it better.”

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The Duke told Will and Chloe, who are a couple based with South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, “If we weren’t affected by emotions, we’d all be robots.

“So, you know, it’s OK to be affected by emotions. It’s very British for us all to worry about, you know, being affected by emotions – but we all are.

“That’s what makes our relationships important, it’s crucial, but it’s just managing those feelings so we can have time to feel we can breathe again.”

William then said in his speech Thursday, “Supporting the mental health of our emergency services is extremely personal to me. I often think about my time working for RAF Search and Rescue and the East Anglia Air Ambulance.

“I remember the pressure of attending calls in the most stressful conditions, sometimes with tragic conclusions.

“I remember the sense of solidarity with my team, pulling together to do the best we could and sharing the weight of responsibility.”

He added, “I also remember returning home with the stresses and strains of the day weighing on my mind, and wanting to avoid burdening my family with what I had seen.

“I am therefore delighted to announce that senior leaders representing the national bodies have today signed the Mental Health at Work Commitment on behalf of emergency services right across the U.K.

“This is an unprecedented agreement, and it sends a powerful message to all emergency responders that mental health is, and will remain, a firm priority for the U.K.’s emergency services.

“It means that, for the first time, a uniform set of standards for supporting the mental health of emergency responders will be adopted and integrated into their workplaces.

“New resources and tools will be rolled out across the services. And the independent oversight bodies will be able to assess organizations’ work in this area against consistent criteria, which will help change culture and hold leadership to account.

“This is a crucial step in ensuring that the staff and volunteers who work so tirelessly for our nation can be properly protected.”