The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their coronavirus action plan advising advised followers to train as counsellors if they’re bored at home.
Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle, 38, who are currently living in a Vancouver Island mansion, posted an Instagram message online earlier today about supporting one another because people might feel ‘alone, anxious, scared or bored’ during the coronavirus crisis.
They shared a series of ‘resources to help us all through the process’, including asking followers to digitally train as counselors in order to help support others.
Along with their lengthy message, they shared a bright turquoise image which included the words: ‘Today I feel…’
Meanwhile Prince William, 37, and Kate Middleton, 38, visited NHS staff ‘to pass on personal thanks’ from the Queen, 93, and Prince Charles, 71.
Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle, 38, shared an Instagram post urging followers to seek help for their mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
The message, which was shared with their 11.7 million followers today, read: ‘With everything going on, it’s a lot to take in. Many of us may feel confused.
‘Or alone, or anxious or scared…and in isolation, some of us may just feel bored, or that you don’t know what to do with yourself without your normal routine. It’s perfectly normal to be feeling any of these things.’
It went on: ‘Our emotional well-being is challenged everyday whether we realise it or not, but our lives are usually filled with distractions.
‘Now with constantly changing COVID coverage, we are all adjusting to this new normal and the feelings that come with it.
The couple encouraged their followers to turn to the resources and ‘digitally retrain’ as a counsellor to help others cope (pictured, at their final royal engagement before stepping down as senior members of The Firm)
‘But here’s the good thing (because right now we need to hear good things, right?): Yes, there is isolation and physical distancing, but there doesn’t have to be loneliness.’
The couple went on to share a series of resources ‘to help us all through this process’ before saying there were also ‘ways that you can become one of those resources.’
The resources included the British Crisis Textline, and Canadian charity Kids Help Phone, as well as their joint charity venture with Prince William, 37, and Kate Middleton, 38, Shout UK.
They wrote: ‘@crisistextline @giveusashoutinsta @kidshelpphone and and CTL Ireland are organisations that need new volunteers now more than ever and have an open door for you to get the support you need.’
The couple shared a lengthy post urging their followers to ‘digitally train to be a counselor and help’ because it was ‘an amazing way to use the time’
‘If you’re home and feeling bored, you can digitally train to be a counselor and HELP someone who really needs your support! What an amazing way to use this time.’
‘If you feel alone, overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious, you can text one of these lines and talk it through.’
‘If you are in an abusive relationship and now find yourself in isolation with your abuser, these counselors are there for you. You do not need to suffer in silence.’
The message continued: ‘And for those of you who don’t feel comfortable texting with a stranger, reach out to your friends, family and colleagues.
‘Phone calls and video conferencing are such a great way to feel more connected – ask if they’re okay, tell them how you’re (actually) feeling, and use this time to really listen for the answer.’
The couple shared a link to their joint venture with the Cambridges, Shout UK, which the foursome launched before their royal foundations split last year (pictured, Meghan and Harry with Shout volunteers)
‘If there is someone you know and are worried about, your text may be the thing that saves their life.’
The couple went on to share a video of Brother Richard Hendrick, a Capuchin Franciscan living in Ireland, reading his poem ‘Lockdown’.
Posting a BBC Radio clip of his reading of the poem on their Instagram page, they wrote: ‘We were moved by this so wanted to share with you.’
The hopeful poem, which went viral online earlier this week, explores positivity in the face of the outbreak.
It comes after reports Prince Harry was feeling ‘helpless’ and was ‘concerned’ about the Queen catching coronavirus
It includes lines such as ‘The birds are singing again, The sky is clearing, Spring is coming,’
The Sussexes’ comments come after a close friend exclusively told DailyMail.com Meghan and Prince Harry are self-isolating in Canada, with Meghan confiding in friends that Harry feels ‘helpless’ and is ‘concerned’ about the Queen and his father catching coronavirus.
The Duchess of Sussex is also taking steps to protect her family, requiring ‘everyone on their team, the people who buy groceries and run errands, to wear latex gloves at all times and are to follow a strict hygiene protocol’, the source said.
The friend added: ‘Meghan said just because they are isolating themselves, it doesn’t mean they can’t help. They aren’t just sitting around at home doing nothing.’
The couple are currently isolating in in a waterfront Vancouver Island mansion after stepping back from life as senior members of the royal family earlier this month
They continued: ‘Meghan told her inner circle that what’s happening in the world right now is a mental health crisis.
‘She said they are working with a mental health non-profit to create some sort of online support system for those most vulnerable, like new mothers suffering from postpartum depression.
‘People who lack support systems need reassurance that they are not alone.’
Meghan and Harry have just returned to Canada following their last official engagements as working members of the royal family.
They attended the Mountbatten Festival of Music and reunited with Prince William and Kate Middleton during the Commonwealth Day celebrations.
Upon being back in Canada, the close friend said Meghan admitted that Harry ‘feels a bit helpless and isolated out in the middle of nowhere, but is grateful that they are all together as a family.’
The poem which moved Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Yes there is fear. Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,