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Though she’s spent the last few public engagements alongside her husband Prince William, Kate Middleton recently struck out on her own for a visit to a mental health charity in London. Middleton was her usual, charming, well-dressed self during the official visit, which is also her first solo engagement of the year.

During her first solo engagement of 2022, Kate Middleton stunned in a green and black leopard print dress that modestly covered her from wrist to shin. The Duchess of Cambridge paired the bold frock with a pair of slouchy black boots.

Middleton’s husband had accompanied her to other public engagements this year, including trips to the Foundling Museum and a visit to Lancashire to meet with NHS staff. This time, however, Middleton was flying solo.

An Absolutely Gorgeous Dress

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 26: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2nd,R) visits Shout to mark the mental health text service reaching over one million conversations with those in need, on January 26, 2022 in London, England. The Duchess met clinical supervisors, volunteers and fundraisers to thank them for their invaluable efforts to ensure that vital mental health support is available across the UK at any time of day or night. (Photo Alastair Grant – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Middleton was visiting the Shout offices, a UK mental health text service that provides mental health support 24/7. She met with volunteers, clinical supervisors, and fundraisers to mark the charity’s recent benchmark of over one million conversations with those seeking help. Her visit was also to thank those who helped to ensure that those who needed it were able to find the aid they needed day or night. 

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 26: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visits Shout to mark the mental health text service reaching over one million conversations with those in need, on January 26, 2022 in London, England. The Duchess met clinical supervisors, volunteers and fundraisers to thank them for their invaluable efforts to ensure that vital mental health support is available across the UK at any time of day or night. (Photo Alastair Grant – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

This charity is especially near and dear to the duchess’ heart since she started the charity with Prince William and in-laws Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Shout was launched in 2019 through their joint Heads Together campaign. 

Meeting With The Youth, Volunteers

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 26: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, meets scout Leo Street as she visits Shout to mark the mental health text service reaching over one million conversations with those in need, on January 26, 2022 in London, England. The Duchess met clinical supervisors, volunteers and fundraisers to thank them for their invaluable efforts to ensure that vital mental health support is available across the UK at any time of day or night. (Photo Alastair Grant – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

On Twitter, following the event, Middleton wrote, “Having met some of the incredible volunteers today to hear their stories and see how they facilitate conversations, it’s obvious how their empathetic approach helps people feel safe, calm, and listened to.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 26: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is welcomed as she visits Shout to mark the mental health text service reaching over one million conversations with those in need, on January 26, 2022 in London, England. The Duchess met clinical supervisors, volunteers and fundraisers to thank them for their invaluable efforts to ensure that vital mental health support is available across the UK at any time of day or night. (Photo Alastair Grant – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“Mental health support and resources across the UK have made significant strides over the last decade. @GiveUsAShout, through its 24/7 text messaging service, has been a huge contributor and consistent support for children, young people & adults during their most difficult times,” she continued.

A Much Needed Service

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 26: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, meets scout Leo Street as she visits Shout to mark the mental health text service reaching over one million conversations with those in need, on January 26, 2022 in London, England. The Duchess met clinical supervisors, volunteers and fundraisers to thank them for their invaluable efforts to ensure that vital mental health support is available across the UK at any time of day or night. (Photo Alastair Grant – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Since the beginning of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the mental health service has seen a 140% increase in usage. That same year, it had been revealed that Prince William had volunteered his time with the service. Like 2,500 other volunteers, he was trained on how to respond to those in crisis. 

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 26: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) gestures as she speaks to a member of staff as she visits Shout to mark the mental health text service reaching over one million conversations with those in need, on January 26, 2022 in London, England. The Duchess met clinical supervisors, volunteers and fundraisers to thank them for their invaluable efforts to ensure that vital mental health support is available across the UK at any time of day or night. (Photo Alastair Grant – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

As people suffer losses during these difficult times, both personal and financial, it’s more important than ever that people have access to the mental health support they need. Kudos to Kate Middleton for giving such a wonderful charity the boost it needs.

For those in the US who are either struggling or know someone who needs mental health support, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected with a certified crisis counselor.

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