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Duchess of Cambridge launches FamilyLine

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Today the Duchess of Cambridge visited Family Action to launch FamilyLine, a new confidential helpline for families, after research by the national charity found family members want to talk about problems but don’t always know who to turn to. The Duchess met FamilyLine staff and volunteers and talked with three families and a group of young carers supported by Family Action.

To mark the 150th anniversary of Family Action this year, the charity’s Family Monsters Project aims to help families with everyday pressures. One in three people (32%) want to talk to someone about money, health, or relationships issues. However, things get in the way of asking for help, such as being unsure who to ask (14%), thinking their family should be able to overcome pressures without external support (13%), or feeling other people need more support than them (12%).

FamilyLine is open weekday evenings and weekend mornings to support any family member struggling with any aspect of family life, such as parenting challenges, family conflict, relationship difficulties or mental health and wellbeing. Calls, emails or text messages are answered quickly, and in confidence, by a team of trained volunteers under the supervision of Family Action experts.

The Duchess met FamilyLine volunteers and managers during a training session about maternal mental ill health. The training was facilitated by an expert from Family Action’s perinatal support services, which help mothers struggling with mental ill health.

Maternal mental health is one of the family pressures featured in a new Family Monsters Project short film. The Duchess watched the film with three families, and then talked with them about how they had dealt with their own pressures. The film is being shown in cinemas nationwide this January, and is available to watch, download and share:www.familymonstersproject.com.

Her Royal Highness also spoke with a group of young carers during her visit. Family Action’s young carers services help young carers cope with the pressures on themselves and their families, to meet other young carers, and focus on their own wellbeing and future, as well as the members of their family they help care for.

Family Action Chief Executive, David Holmes CBE,who is a member of the steering group on early years convened by the Duchess of Cambridge, said:

“We are so grateful to HRH The Duchess of Cambridge for visiting Family Action’s services today, for her interest in our work addressing family pressures and for officially launching FamilyLine. The Duchess’s support will encourage many more families to talk about their “family monsters”.

“Family life can be challenging for anyone, and we want to help families face their pressures together. Usually, simply talking will get everyday family monsters out in the open and that will usually be enough to stop them becoming overwhelming. But when talking to family or friends is not enough, families can now call our new out of hours FamilyLine.”

FamilyLine is open Monday to Friday 6pm-10pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-1pm and can be reached by Freephone: 0808 802 6666, text message: 07537 404 282, email:familyline@family-action.org.uk

To find out how the Family Monsters Project is helping every family face their pressures go towww.familymonstersproject.comor follow #MyFamilyMonsters on social media.

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