Sam Hussein/WireImage
October 10, 2016 01:49 PM

Princess Kate is getting personal on World Mental Health Day.

The annual event raises awareness of mental health issues around the world. This year’s theme is mental health first aid, which can be used by everyone to support individuals experiencing a crisis — including the royal mom herself.

Kate spoke with firefighter Richard McGhee, 33, and his mother Sharon, 64, about mental health in emergency services, which is something the royal family can relate to. Prince William is a pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance and often goes on difficult missions.

“She was certainly understanding with William’s involvement in the air ambulance and mine in the fire service,” McGhee, who suffers from depression and anxiety, tells PEOPLE. “She was empathetic.”

“She said he comes home and explains what he’s done in the day and tells stories of what he’s seen,” McGhee continues. “It’s very similar to what goes on in my job.”

Neil Mockford/GC Images
Neil Mockford/GC Images

While Kate supports her husband, McGhee says he’s found support in his mother.

“She was there for me and was one of the first people I went to when I was struggling,” he says. “If the job was having an impact on me, I would offload.

“The main assistance I got from her was offloading. It was vital to me. We get support in our jobs, but it’s not the same as a family member or someone like that.”

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The fireman from Somerset says that Kate had a good touch with those she met.

“I felt that she wasn’t there because she was working, but because she wanted to be. She listened and she understood and was asking questions,” McGhee says.

“To have someone so high profile be the backbone of this [issue] is raising awareness. It’s going to highlighted it a lot more.”

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