Prince William Shares the Struggles He Faced During His Time as an Air Ambulance Pilot

"I took a lot home without realizing it."

Prince William has revealed how he struggled with the suffering he witnessed in his former job as an air ambulance pilot.

'I took a lot home without realising it,' the Duke of Cambridge said as he chatted to senior paramedic Dawn Anderson, who has recovered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with help from her employer, ITV News reports.

He added: 'If you see sad things every day, you think all life is like that, you're just seeing all the sad things, all the pain every day.

The Duke Of Cambridge Launches 'Mental Health At Work' Initiative

(Image credit: Eamonn M. McCormack)

'I think that for the medical community, particularly, must weigh a lot on their minds. That you're always dealing with despair, sadness, injury, things that are really quite troubling. The attrition builds up and you don’t really have the opportunity to off-load it.'

The royal opened up at a community work-hub in Bristol, where he launched the Mental Health At Work initiative. Created in partnership with Heads Together and Mind, the project aims to change the way we approach wellbeing in the workplace by providing resources for managers to support their staff.

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As he addressed UK employers and employees at the launch, William said he was 'stunned' to find that research from Heads Together showed that just 2 per cent of people would feel comfortable talking to their HR about mental health.

'To change this, we need to tackle two big problems,' he added. 'We need to stop people feeling as if they have to hide, and we need to make sure anyone with any responsibility for others at work knows what to do.'

The Duke Of Cambridge Completes His Last Shift With The East Anglian Air Ambulance

(Image credit: WPA Pool)

The Duke joined the East Anglian Air Ambulance in March 2015, after nearly five years as a helicopter pilot with the RAF's Search and Rescue Force. In a 2016 interview for a BBC documentary, he spoke candidly about the 'very sad, dark moments' he was confronted with in the role.

Now a full-time royal, William completed his final shift with the air ambulance in July 2017. In a statement from Kensington Palace, he said it had been 'a huge privilege' to work with the emergency medical service.

Katie Frost