Health & Wellness

Duchess Kate calls for mental health support in schools with heartfelt video

Duchess Kate released a heartfelt video message in support of top children’s mental health charity Place2Be on Sunday at the start of its Mental Health Week.

The Duchess of Cambridge, who has been a patron of Place2Be since 2013 and has thrown her royal weight behind a variety of mental health causes in recent years, lauded the charity’s efforts at improving kids’ emotional well-being in school. This year, Place2Be’s week-long campaign focuses on building children’s skills at bouncing back from life’s challenges.

“Every child deserves to grow up feeling confident that they won’t fall at the first hurdle, that they cope with life’s setbacks,” she said, speaking from a classroom at Salusbury Primary School in London. “This resilience — our ability to deal with stressful situations — is something we begin to learn in childhood.”

Place2Be’s research has revealed that two-thirds of primary schools in England don’t have a counselor in their schools.

“Through my work in areas like addiction, I have seen time and again that the roots of poor mental health in adulthood frequently stem from unresolved childhood issues,” she said. “This needs to change.”

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In the video, Duchess Kate speaks to several children about the importance of having a place to talk — at their school — about problems they might not want to discuss with friends.

“I find Place2Be a very good thing to be in the school because whenever I have an issue I just decide to go there and it makes me feel a lot better because I like speaking what I feel,” said Nimra, a 10-year-old student.

The children told her that the program encourages them to express their emotions through art, which in turn helps them feel better and then perform better in school.

Place2Be said it was “thrilled” to have the royal’s support in helping to “remove the stigma around children’s mental health.”

Later this month, Duchess Kate will spend a day as guest editor of the Huffington Post UK, where she will commission contributions from experts, parents and teachers around the country aimed at highlighting children's mental health issues.

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