Health & Wellness

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge raise awareness for World Mental Health Day

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped out Saturday to raise awareness for World Mental Health Day, visiting young people who have battled mental health issues.

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend an event hosted by Mind, at Harrow College to mark World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2015 in Harrow, England.

During the visit to Harrow College, Prince William and Duchess Kate met with young volunteers, who shared their personal experiences with mental health issues and who now volunteer with Time to Change, a non-profit that battles stigmas against mental health.

One of those who spoke at the event was Vithuja Balasingam, who met the Duke and Duchess and gave a speech about her experiences.

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend an event hosted by Mind, at Harrow College to mark World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2015 in Harrow, England.

"I had always conformed to the idea that having a mental illness is something to be ashamed of and hide, but actually being open, saying, ‘Yes, I have depression, but so what?’ has really helped me in my recovery and that's why I'm here today," she said. "To celebrate how far we’ve come and to remind everyone that it’s okay to talk without being afraid or ashamed.”

Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental healthy charity behind the event, Mind, said that the Duke and Duchess' appearance is “helping us to send an important and urgent message to the world that it is time to change our attitudes about mental health problems."

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends an event hosted by Mind, at Harrow College to mark World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2015 in Harrow, England.

The couple also observed a training session to educate young people about emotional health and resilience at the college before attending a reception to celebrate World Mental Health Day.

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend an event hosted by Mind, at Harrow College to mark World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2015 in Harrow, England.

The appearance marks the first joint appearance the royal couple has made for mental health awareness.

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends an event hosted by Mind, at Harrow College to mark World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2015 in Harrow, England.

In September, Duchess Kate made her first solo appearance since giving birth to Princess Charlotte at a London mental health center for children.

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