Prince William used his appearance at an afternoon garden party along the River Thames to speak about suicide prevention. His speech comes shortly after he spoke about the loss of his mother when he was young — as The Inquisitr reported — and was part of a campaign launch to connect agencies along the river to prevent self-harm incidents as well as general accidents, which together cause 700 incidents yearly that put people’s live at risk on the river.
People reports that William is on a mission not just to raise awareness of suicide but to prevent it. At the event, William spoke about the experience of prominent suicide prevention activist Jonny Benjamin, who was saved by stranger Neil Laybourn before he could jump to his death from a bridge over the Thames.
“Don’t be afraid to stop and intervene if you see someone who might be considering taking their own life. Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn, who speak so powerfully about their experiences. A simple, ‘Hello, how are you?’ is sometimes all it takes to save a life.”
“I have just been meeting with families who have lost loved ones on the river,” he said later.
“Their stories are heart-breaking reminders of how important all your work is to keep the river safe. Every life lost and every life-changing accident is one too many.”
William also used his speech to praise the first responders that “help to keep the Thames safe, day in day out.” The Duke of Cambridge himself used to work as an air ambulance pilot and air-sea rescue helicopter pilot — a job that he said eventually began to weigh on him because of how close it put him to death in the community.
The recent string of charitable events that William has participated in seems to follow in the footsteps of his mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997. She left behind a legacy of charity work, including raising awareness for people affected by mental illness, cancer, and HIV/AIDS, and at one point served as president of London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for children.
During a recently released clip from BBC’s upcoming special A Royal Team Talk: Tackling Mental Health, William spoke to professional athletes about what it was like losing his mother when he was just 15. While he admits it was a painful experience, he also said that there was positivity that came from it — he met many other people that experienced similar grief and grew close to them.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.