Prince William has openly talked about his time working as an air ambulance pilot and the effect it had on him, which he would often take back home to his family after his shift ended. While speaking at an event to launch his Mental Health At Work initiative, he said: You’re just seeing all the sad things, all the pain every day,” while talking to senior paramedic Dawn Anderson, who herself has recovered from PTSD with the help from her employer. He added: “I took a lot home without realizing it.”
“If you see sad things every day, you think all life is like that… I think that for the medical community, particularly, it must weigh a lot on their minds,” he continued. “That you’re always dealing with despair, sadness, injury, things that are really quite troubling. The attrition builds up and you don’t really have the opportunity to off-load it.”
William left the air ambulance service in the summer of 2017-and launched Heads Together with the Royal Foundation in May 2016. William, Kate, and Prince Harry have all talked about their own mental struggles publicly, in hopes of raising awareness. And in 2017, Prince William revealed that it was actually his wife’s idea to launch the project-and could her husband’s own experiences played a key part in that decision? “It was Catherine who first realized that all three of us were working on mental health in our individual areas of focus,” he said.
The three royals are now joined by the Duchess of Sussex in the campaign. All three of them have shown a strong passion for a particular area of mental health, with William often speaking out on men’s issues. At the launch in 2016, he said: “My thing really is to get more men talking about their issues before it is too late, and to stop feeling so strong and unable to seek help.”