The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out a series of engagements in London to raise awareness for suicide prevention. As part of their initiative to raise awareness for mental health issues, they met with organizations that work in suicide prevention, awareness and support.
Their first stop was to London-based organization, Maytree, for a private visit and a cup of tea. Matter is a unique help center that provides support to people in suicidal crisis. They offer a safe place to “rest, reflect, and be heard without judgement.” They work to reduce the risk of suicide and allow guests to “consider their options and develop their resilience.”
The next meeting took place at St Thomas’ Hospital, where they met with Jonny Benjamin and his life-saver, Neil Laybourn. In 2008, Jonny attempted to take his life by jumping off a London bridge. Neil, a complete stranger, walked up to him and changed his mind. In 2014, Jonny worked with REThink on the #Find Mike campaign to search for the stranger who saved him. Since the event, Jonny has campaigned for mental health support and suicide awareness through various platforms.
Later in the day, William and Kate were back at Kensington Palace. The royals joined a group of supporters and volunteers to discuss suicide awareness and the effects of suicide on those left behind. They viewed a screening of The Stranger on the Bridge – a documentary about Jonny and Neil’s experiences.
It has been suggested that, later in the afternoon, William and Catherine privately met with families and people affected by suicide. To respect the privacy of those affected, these events were not publicized.
Today must have been extremely emotional and moving, both for the Duke and Duchess and for the people whose trials are finally being heard on a large-scale. William and Catherine’s campaign for mental health awareness is taking these issues to a global scale.