This week, the government announced a new mental health campaign, ‘Every Mind Matters’ which has been backed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
It’s an NHS and Public Health England initiative that offers individuals a short questionnaire about their mental health before providing them with unique advice on how to deal with any issues they may be having.
A short video explaining how the campaign works was released on Twitter, with William, Kate, Harry and Meghan narrating the three-minute film shot by Rankin and penned by Richard Curtis (the Love Actually and Notting Hill screenwriter). It was also aired on the TV across a number of channels.
William states: ‘Everyone knows that feeling when life gets on top of us. We feel stressed, low, anxious or have trouble sleeping.’
Harry then says: ‘We think there is nothing to be done, nothing we can do about it.’
Meghan then says: ‘There’s a new way to help turn things around,’ before Kate adds: ‘It’ll get you started with a free online plan designed to help you deal with stress, boost your mood, improve your sleep and feel more in control.’
However, the campaign suffered huge backlash online, with many speaking out about the difficulties they currently face getting help from mental health services.
Writer Eleanor Segall Mandelstam tweeted: ‘Its great that [Every Mind Matters] has launched BUT for those of us stuck in a failing NHS system that keeps people with chronic mental illness on long and pointless waiting lists for therapy that doesn’t happen- I don’t see how this can help if you’ve been in the system for years.’
Journalist Ilona Burton added: ‘Imagine running an ad campaign for checking your breasts and then more people go to their GP having found a lump and be told “Sorry, come back when it’s got bigger/worse/you’re actually dying.” Because that’s kind of what mental health ad campaigns are doing.
‘If #everymindmatters, there should be enough funding to support every mind that struggles.’
Labour supporter and activist Keri Howe added that she believes it is an attempt by the Conservatives to ‘win votes with a hashtag #EveryMindMatters,’ claiming that the initiative is ‘deeply offensive to every single one of the thousands of distressed patients who have been left; without the safety of a hospital bed, on never ending waiting lists and in peril unsupported because of their deliberate underfunding of mental health services.’
But others have voiced their support for the initiative, with one Twitter user saying: ‘It’s positive and a step in the right direction.’
Another added: ‘This is amazing. Absolute respect Your Royal Highnesses for getting involved with this. Brought tears to my eyes.’
The website reportedly crashed following the royals’ endorsement, which a Public Health England spokesperson said was ‘due to high traffic’.