The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Comedy Carpet along the promenade The helpline would be for UK troops to call if they have anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. The line has received more than 1,500 calls, averaging 34 calls a week.However earlier this year a report by the Defence Select Committee criticised the UK’s lack of forces family-specific specialist mental health care as campaigners called for more to be done. Blackpool Housing Company has since bought them at a market rate of about £40,000 each, renovating them completely before renting them out as warm, safe, family homes to clients including Christina Jackson, who invited the Duke and Duchess into her home for a tour.The couple also got a glimpse of the lighter side of the seaside town, with a walkabout and a trip to the Blackpool Tower the Duchess promised to bring their three children back to. “It’s taking time to catch up but we are getting it right but I think we still have a way to go yet.”But if the blue light community can really grapple with this and set a very good example, it will come across through to society much quicker than it has.”In the last couple of years the army has increased its efforts for those experiencing mental health problems.Last year, the armed forces launched a pocket guide to help those struggling with their mental health, created by the Samaritans and the Ministry of Defence which is spending £220 million over the next decade to improve mental health services for serving personnel. In February 2018, the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced the establishment of a 24-Hour Mental Health Helpline. The Duke and Duchess were asked to walk on planks so as to avoid dangerous rotting floorboards, while water dripped from a ceiling in the living room.Since falling out of use as B&Bs, the house is one of many that has subsequently been used as multiple occupancy homes, falling into disrepair in a broken market which has seen them take set housing benefit without maintaining properties to a habitable level. The Duchess of Cambridge visited Blackpool Tower Show more “Because I never really understood why the army, for instance, only recently started putting mental health training in.“They talk about being the best the whole time. You’re physically trained to do all the stuff you do, but never once in the process was the mental aspect of what you were going to see at war time or war fighting… never was that actually processed through ‘how do we actually train people physically and mentally be the best soldier?’ The Army must demand both mental and physical fitness if it wants to legitimately claim to “be the best”, the Duke of Cambridge has said, as he suggests it has been slow to implement full mental health training.The Duke, who will one day be head of the Armed Forces, said he has “never really understood” why the Army had not always matched its physical training with mental health provision, ensuring soldiers are at their peak in all senses.During a visit to Blackpool, in which he and the Duchess raised concerns about the plight of families living in squalor, he focused on the key issue of mental health throughout society.Speaking to members of the emergency services, the Duke said more needed to be done around supporting their mental health and suggested he felt the both the “blue lights” and army have been historically slow to act.“It’s totally understandable that those who work in the emergency services would at some point mental health issues build-up, because of the stuff that you see, the stuff you have to deal with and sort out,” he said.“If we can get the blue light community, the army and others to kind of be able to say ‘this is essential’. An Army spokesperson said: “We take the mental health of our personnel extremely seriously, and resilience training is an important part of our duty of care.”The MOD has increased spending on mental health to £22million a year, and we are working hard to tackle the stigma around coming forward and asking for help.”The Duke and Duchess had been visiting a programme in Blackpool Library, where health visitors, nurses, drug and alcohol counsellors and former addicts convened to discuss the challenges faced by the town.The Royal couple also visited houses in one of Blackpool’s most deprived areas, where children recently lived in squalor at the mercy of unscrupulous private landlords.Said to have seemed shocked by what they saw, the Duke and Duchess were “clearly unhappy about the fact that children had been living there”, according to the official who showed them round. In a speech at the start of the day, the Duke spoke of the “dispiriting” challenges facing the town, which has gone from the “jewel in the crown” of seaside resorts to “testing times” after British tourists went elsewhere.“Unemployment remains quite high, skilled professionals continue to leave faster than they arrive, and Blackpool has become a transitory town for many without the right employment opportunities,” he said. “Against this backdrop, mental health issues and social problems have risen. “And a unique problem has also arisen as a result of falling demand for tourist accommodation, which has created an oversupply of what the council now perceive to be extremely low-quality private-rented accommodation.”The Duke and Duchess were later given a tour of a former B&B on Kirby Road, was covered in black mould and graffiti, with debris littering the floor and children’s toys left behind.