The Duchess of Cambridge has said that the stigma around mental health means that many children do not get the help they so badly need, and called for much earlier intervention to take place when dealing with troubled children.
Ahead of Children’s Mental Health Week Kate recorded a video message in which she said that both she and her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, have seen that many children are struggling to cope with bullying, bereavement, family breakdown and other issues, which can often lead to depression, anxiety, addiction and self-harm.
The Duchess makes the comments in an online video for Place2Be, which provides emotional help and support in schools.
“Through Place2Be I have seen the benefits of offering children support for their mental health in the safety of the school environment,” Kate, who has been royal patron of the charity since 2013, says.
“Both William and I sincerely believe that early action can prevent problems in childhood from turning into larger ones later in life.”
The video message can be watched at www.place2be.org.uk/childrensmhw, which also features tips and guidance for parents regarding children’s mental health issues.
It was recorded at Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School in Beckenham, south London, to launch a week-long campaign by the charity to raise awareness of issues concerning children’s mental health issues.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “As royal patron of Place2Be the Duchess of Cambridge is a committed champion of issues related to children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.
“Her Royal Highness has seen that issues such as addiction, poverty, abuse, neglect, loss and illness of family members, can have a long-lasting and traumatic impact if left unsupported.
“The Duchess of Cambridge is especially concerned with early intervention mental health support for young people, to tackle these issues at the earliest possible stage, so that children have the brightest possible futures, as they deserve.”
Catherine Roche, chief executive of Place2Be, said: “We’re thrilled to have the support of our royal patron, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, for this important new campaign.
“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 would 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.”