Prince William expresses fears for NHS 'heroes' and their mental health

(Image credit: Sam Barnes)

The Duke of Cambridge has confessed he worries NHS frontline workers being labelled as "heroes" could affect their mental wellbeing.

Prince William has expressed his concerns over hailing NHS frontline workers "heroes".

While he said the label is justified and deserved, he fears they could feel pressure to be "this strong pillar of strength" and not ask for support with their mental health.

Warning that "caution" should be used in order to not "alienate" NHS staff, he said, "We made the NHS frontline staff, rightly, heroes.

"But in doing so, we once again, give them the burden that we gave our soldiers fighting in the war, where everyone was so grateful and wanted to show their appreciation as to their fighting for their freedoms and everything. And I think we've got to be very careful with the language that we use."

"They should rightly be hailed as superstars, and brave, and wonderful staff; but I'm very conscious from a mental health point of view that we don't alienate some of them.

"Where they feel that once they have this hero tag, they can no longer shake that, and therefore they can't ask for support, they have to be this strong pillar of strength, when actual fact what we need them to be is examples of positive mental health."

The Duke of Cambridge appeared on BBC's One Show on Thursday night ahead of the documentary, Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health.

He said while beating the pandemic is their job, we must not allow NHS staff to feel "broken" after the crisis is over.

"Doing the job, beating this pandemic, helping and caring for so many people, but also looking after themselves so that they come through this in one piece and we're not having broken NHS staff all over the country."

Georgia Farquharson
Georgia Farquharson

Georgia studied Print Journalism at university in Nottingham, England before going on to work on several leading celebrity magazines, as well as freelance writing for international magazine Grazia Middle East. An enthusiastic, hard-working and ambitious writer, Georgia recently launched her own communications consultancy, farq media. As Director and Founder, Georgia helps businesses with their Public Relations strategy, as well as influencer and celebrity marketing. She also represents several influencers of her own. She lives with this motto in mind; "if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough."