Prince William, Duke of Cambridge will be taking part in the Church of England national online service this Sunday (24th May) to mark the end of Mental Health Awareness Week.
In it, he will urge people who are concerned about their mental health or that of others to reach out and start a conversation.
The service, led by the Revd Professor Gina Radford – a former Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England and a vicar in Devon, will include a series of prayers for all those whose mental health has been affected, their relatives, friends and carers.
She will say in her sermon that Mental Health Awareness Week has had a “particular significance” this year as more people struggle with mental health and well-being.
“For some people of faith this is particularly challenging,” she will continue. “Surely, we might ask, my faith should get me through? But we need to face the reality that we are human – we are body, mind and spirit. We are all susceptible to mental ill-health, just as we are to physical ill-health.”
Revd Professor Chris Cook, Director of the Centre for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Durham University and a former Professor of Psychiatry, will say prayers for all those whose mental health has suffered because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Other contributors to the service include Jenny Flannagan from the charity Youthscape, and Revd Peterson Feital, Missioner to the Creative Industries in the Diocese of London and the founder and Chief Executive of The Haven + London.
Ms Flannagan, who works to support 14-19 year olds struggling with self-harm, will talk about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people’s mental health.
“Lots of young people are finding their anxiety is increasing, not knowing what is going to happen in the future. Lots of them are stuck in really difficult family situations, some of them are dealing with grief,” she will say.
“I pray for all the young people that I work with that we will have the right words to help them to find the next step forward, to seed hope in their imaginations that there is a way forward, that there are other ways that they can manage some of these difficulties, and to know that they are not alone.”
The Church of England has provided special mental health reflections which are available from their website.