'It's OK to not feel OK,' says Prince William during Church service for mental health

The Duke of Cambridge urged people to "reach out" if they were struggling with their mental health

Prince William has encouraged people to speak to each other if they are concerned about their mental health as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Duke of Cambridge made the comments while taking part in the Church of England's online service on Sunday to mark the end of Mental Health Awareness Week. 

In a heartfelt message, he urged people not to worry about whether they would be a burden to others but instead "reach out" if they are struggling, whether "through prayer and quiet reflection" or by talking to a fellow parishioner, friend or family member. 

"Mental health is an issue Catherine and I care passionately about and we are determined to do all we can to remove the stigma attached to it," he said in a pre-recorded message for the service. 

"The impact of coronavirus has been far-reaching and we shouldn't underestimate its effect on us and on those in our families and communities," he continued.

"Whether people have lost or are worrying about loved ones, struggling with isolating at home, feeling anxious about our job security, or working on the frontline, now more than ever, it is important that we talk to one another about issues we're struggling with. 

"And it is OK to not feel OK." 

He added: "Whoever you talk to, connecting with someone and finding the words to open up can be a life-changing step."

The Church of England's service was led by the Rev Professor Gina Radford, former Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England. 

She said in her sermon that people of faith should not be surprised if they, too, are struggling as a result of the pandemic. 

"For some people of faith this is particularly challenging," she said.

"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."