The Duchess of Cambridge urged those struggling with addiction to reach out for help after undertaking a virtual tour of a treatment centre.
The Duchess of Cambridge has urged those struggling with addiction to reach out for help.
The 38-year-old royal took a virtual tour of Clouds House - a treatment centre run by Action on Addiction, of which she is patron - and was told that surveys have found addictive behaviours are rising as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Catherine admitted the news was ''worrying'' and hoped people would be encouraged to find help.
She said: ''The worrying thing is, it is all those people who aren't necessarily reaching out who are struggling, who perhaps don't feel they can reach out.
''Or the fact that maybe they haven't realised that addictive behaviours have sort of established, particularly if it's the first time - and it's those people who aren't necessarily being vocal about it.
''It's making sure that they know they can reach out and that you are here to help and support them in this very difficult time.''
The duchess heard the centre has adapted its services by reconfiguring facilities to allow 10 residential clients to isolate for two weeks and also offering online support.
After speaking to two residents in the facility's aftercare programe, Catherine praised the clinic as a ''lifeline''.
She said: ''It's a lifeline for many people and you know and it's great that they are able to continue the support, whether remotely or those who are actually still receiving treatment now during lockdown and providing life changing support.''
And she also praised the ''fantastic'' approach Clouds takes to care after speaking to Lucy, whose mother had been a resident there before their family had embarked on various courses together to help beat her addictions.
The duchess said: ''I think the holistic approach that Clouds has is extraordinary and Action on Addiction in general, because to being in the family members, for someone who is suffering to take that one individual and ask them to go through it themselves is a real challenge.
''But if you can pull in family members or those around them to try and help them through it is really extraordinary and actually I've heard in the past everyone learns a huge amount from it as well, so it's really fantastic.''
Before ending the call, Catherine promised she would visit Clouds House in person as soon as social distancing guidelines allow it.
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