Kate Middleton isn’t only preparing for the birth of her second child, who’s due in April.
This week, the Duchess is helping to promote the UK’s first Children’s Mental Health Week, which will run from 16th to 22th February.
Organised by children’s mental health charity Place2Be, which Kate has been the royal patron of since 2013, it’s designed to help families who are coping with emotional issues.
In a rare video that she’s recorded to help raise awareness for children’s mental health issues, Kate says that both she and William have seen that many children are struggling to cope with the impact of issues such as bullying, bereavement, family breakdown and more.
For some young people, these issues can lead to depression, anxiety, addiction and self-harm if they don’t get appropriate support.
The Duchess, 33, says that stigma around mental health means that many children do not get the help they so badly need, which needs to change.
“We need to help young people and their parents understand that it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help,” says Kate in the video, which was filmed at Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School in Beckenham.
“A child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health and deserves the same quality of support.”
Kate wears a £250 blue Jaegar tile-print shirt dress in the video, which, judging by the small size of her baby bump, was clearly filmed a good few months ago. Now almost eight months pregnant, the Duchess’ bump is a lot more pronounced – as she demonstrated in a public appearance last week.
Children’s Mental Health Week has been announced after stats, compiled by Place2Be, found that almost a third of parents of children aged five to 18 admit that they would feel embarrassed if their child wanted counselling – something that Place2Be hopes to change by encouraging parents to talk openly with their children about how they’re feeling.
The same survey also revealed that 22 per cent of parents wouldn’t encourage their child to take up counselling in school, even if they asked for it.
Throughout this week, Place2Be will be publishing ideas and expert tips for parents to help support their children’s mental health.
“We’re thrilled to have the support of our Royal Patron, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, for this important new campaign,” says Catherine Roche, CEO of Place2Be.
“By raising awareness of the benefits of getting support early for mental health issues, we hope to change attitudes and help reduce the risk of more complex and serious problems when those children reach adulthood.
“We’d encourage all parents and carers to take a look at the ideas and tips on our website about how to talk to children about their mental health today.”
Place2Be isn’t the only charity that Kate’s the patron of – she also is a royal representative of Action on Addiction and a second children’s charity, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.
“As royal patron of Place2Be, the Duchess of Cambridge is a committed champion of issues related to children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing,” says a Kensington Palace spokesperson.
“Her Royal Highness has seen that issues such as addition, poverty, abuse, neglect, loss and illness of family members can have a long-lasting and traumatic impact if left unsupported.”
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