Why Prince William warns not to call healthcare workers “heroes”

Prince William has cautioned against calling health care workers “heroes” amid the coronavirus outbreak, saying it might put undue pressure on those working on the frontline to appear “strong” and deter them from seeking support.

In an appearance on the BBC’s One Show, the Duke of Cambridge said some hospital staff and care workers he chatted with through video calls found it difficult to talk about their problems.

“I think we’ve got to be very careful with the language that we use,” William said.

“[Healthcare workers] should rightly be hailed as superstars, and brave, and wonderful staff – but I’m very conscious from a mental health point of view that we don’t alienate some of them.”

The “hero” label might lead healthcare staff to believe they have to be “this strong pillar of strength” and prevent them from asking for mental health support, the duke said.

He urged the United Kingdom’s National Health Service workers to look after themselves so that they could emerge from the pandemic “in one piece”. 

William’s comments came ahead of the airing of the documentary Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health, where the royal discussed why “it’s OK to not be OK”.

This article originally appeared on Over60.