Kate Middleton and Prince William Speak with Parents Whose Son Was Saved by the Royals' Crisis Text Line

Kate Middleton and Prince William shared an emotional video call on Friday to highlight the importance of mental health support.

The royal couple spoke with the parents of a 12-year-old boy who had been suffering severe anxiety during the pandemic. Standing on a bridge one day, the boy — who is being identified as "Jack" to protect his anonymity — decided to end his life. But then he turned to the U.K.'s free crisis service SHOUT 85258 service, and the texts helped bring him back from the brink.

"We have no doubt that what happened between our son and SHOUT when he stood on that bridge was enough to save his life," the boy's father, whose identity is also being kept anonymous, told William and Kate in a video call released Friday.

Princess Kate said, "I can't imagine as parents ourselves what it's been like for you, and it's every parent's worse nightmare is receiving the call that you did on that night."

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William added that SHOUT, which was set up as a legacy of the couple's Heads Together mental health campaign, "has effectively bridged that gap between a point of crisis and despair and brought him back to give him peace and calm for a time to just work things out and find that support."

The young boy told William that he found it easier to talk about his emotions and feelings via text than in a voice call. After contacting SHOUT on the bridge, he then felt able to reach out to the police for help.

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During the video call, William and Kate listened as Jack's parents shared how he became increasingly anxious during the lockdown of spring and summer last year. Their usually open and gregarious son became more introverted and was no longer spending as much time connecting with his friends online.

Last year, it emerged that William, 38, had made good on his promise to become a volunteer counselor for the crisis text line during the pandemic.

SHOUT — which was launched in May 2019 — has so far been able to support the mental health of 18,000 children aged 13 or under, with 90% indicating that the conversation they had was helpful, a survey has found.  There are 2,400 trained SHOUT Volunteers, supported by clinical supervisors, who have helped to provide a critical lifeline for more than 265,000 texters across the U.K., and the service has facilitated more than 630,000 conversations.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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