Prince William In Hard Hat As He Highlights Suicide Prevention at Construction Site

The Prince of Wales has targeted mental health as one of his key themes of his public work

Prince William headed out to see construction workers – for a poignant reason.

The prince, 41, sat down with builders on a site in west London on Wednesday to talk about the prevalence of suicide in the construction industry.

As well as talking to the workers about the challenges they face, he also heard from mental health charity Mates in Mind about the work that they are doing to support employers and organizations like contractors, supply chains and policy makers, to provide the change that is needed to improve mental wellbeing in the sector.

Workers in construction are at some of the highest risk of suicide in the country, with rates in the industry over three times higher than the national average. Two years ago, 507 construction workers died by suicide in the U.K., William’s office at Kensington Palace said in a statement.

<p>JUSTIN TALLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images</p> Prince William wearing hard hat at the construction site in west London


Prince William wearing hard hat at the construction site in west London

The Prince’s visit comes in the week of World Suicide Prevention Day (10th September). Suicide is the largest killer of men under the age of 35 and William has commited himself to highlighting the issue and what can be done to prevent it, for many years.

As an air ambulance helicopter pilot, William and his fellow crew members witnessed cases of suicide and he has spoken about the resulting trauma. One of his first calls in his job at East Anglia’s air ambulance service was to a young man who had committed suicide.

<p>JUSTIN TALLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images</p>


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The charity Mates in Mind has pioneered work with construction companies to both improve mental health in the sector and to recognize the particular pressures faced by construction workers.

William was told about a partnership that places a strong focus on promoting the implementation of proactive strategies that see companies supporting their employees’ mental health by identifying and addressing issues early.

<p>JUSTIN TALLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images</p> Prince William at the construction site in London on Wednesday


Prince William at the construction site in London on Wednesday

Mates in Mind run workshops and training on construction sites that help improve understanding and awareness of mental health.

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William's visit took place as his brother Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were supporting veterans at the invictus Games in Germany.

And it came a day after his wife Kate Middleton visited a men's prison to highlight how incarceration can begin with addiction. A charity she supports -- the Forward Trust -- helps those in the criminal justice system manage and recover from addiction.



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