Prince William says seeing so much death as a pilot ‘left him traumatised’

Prince William has opened up about the effects of working in the emergency services, and how he was left 'traumatised' by what he saw.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been warned the nation faces dealing with "broken police officers and emergency services staff", due to the pandemic.

William, 39, shared his own experiences of seeing "death and so much bereavement" when he worked as an air ambulance pilot, and how it affected his world view.

The prince revealed his concern for those on the frontline of the UK's response to the Covid pandemic.

He said he "really worries" about the effect on their lives, seeing "such high levels of sadness, trauma and death".

It comes as the UK reached a grim milestone of more than 100,000 deaths involving Covid, according to official Govt data.

Speaking during the video call on Wednesday, Phil Spencer, Wellbeing Inspector of Cleveland Police, told the royal couple: "I think police just get on with it.

"Like a lot of emergency services we run towards danger, run towards a terrorist attack, we run towards the pandemic, and I personally think this is why police haven't engaged perhaps as much as we could have (with the counselling) at Just B, is because we don't want to take anybody else's valuable time.

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"Perhaps further down the line when all this is gone we're going to have some broken police officers and emergency services staff, because we're too busy focusing on protecting the most vulnerable."

Just B provides confidential and free-to-access bereavement and wellbeing support for NHS staff, social care workers, carers and all emergency services personnel who may be experiencing personal bereavement, anxiety, trauma or the impact of dealing with large numbers of deaths in their working lives.

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The Duke worked for the East Anglian Air Ambulance service for two years before stepping down as a pilot in 2017 to focus on royal duties.

He has spoken about his experiences in the past, and drawing on this, he said: "When you see so much death and so much bereavement it does impact how you see the world.

"It is very interesting what you said about being able to see things in a different light."

Referring to a comment made by a member of the London Ambulance Service he added: "I think you said about thinking everyone around you is going to die – that is what really worries me about the frontline staff at the moment, is that you are so under the cosh at the moment and so pressurised and you're seeing such high levels of sadness, trauma, death, that it impacts your own life and your own family life because it is always there.

"You're so drawn into it, which everyone is, it is only natural that would happen.

"But that's what I think a lot of the public don't understand, that when you're surrounded by that level of intense trauma and sadness and bereavement, it really does, it stays with you at home, it stays with you for weeks on end, doesn't it, and you see the world in a much more, slightly depressed, darker, blacker place."

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