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December 20, 2021

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Mental Health

Prince William shares insight into the “emotional toll” of air ambulance rescues

During a recent Apple podcast, The Duke of Cambridge discussed the impact working as an air ambulance pilot had on him during the two years he served under the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA), after working for the RAF.

Prince William Mental Health at WorkSpeaking about dealing with traumatic moments during his career, he said: “Talking about those jobs definitely helped, sharing them with the team, and ultimately, in one case, meeting the family and the patient involved who made a recovery, albeit not a full recovery, but made a recovery – that definitely helped.”

He also stated, “as a human being, when you see someone in such dire circumstances, basically at death’s door, you can’t help but not be affected by that.”

Prince William has spoken in the past about how working for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) affected his mental health, launching the Mental Health at Work programme in 2018, in collaboration with mental health charity Mind.
The Duke recently gave a speech at The Royal Foundation’s Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium in which he opened up about his time in the emergency services, and highlighted the growing need to prioritise the mental health of emergency workers.

During the event, he launched MIND’s ‘Blue Light Together’, a collaborative project, designed to help people working and volunteering in the emergency services, retirees and their friends and family, to find the right kind of support for their mental health.

The Mental Health at Work Commitment for The Emergency Services, formed as part of the initiative, means that every emergency service organisation in the UK will:     

  • Prioritise mental health in the workplace by developing and delivering a systematic programme of activity  
  • Proactively ensure work design and organisational culture drive positive mental health outcomes  
  • Promote an open culture around mental health 
  • Increase organisational confidence and capability  
  • Provide mental health tools and support 
  • Increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting. 

To access MIND’s guide for wellbeing leads in the emergency services, click here.

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