The Duchess of Cambridge lends support to Children's Mental Health Week

The Duchess of Cambridge has lent her support to children’s mental health charity Place2Be, who have has launched a week long campaign to help build children’s resilience.

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, who is the Royal Patron of children’s mental health charity Place2Be, has recorded a special message to launch Children’s Mental Health Week 8-14 February which focuses on the importance of helping to build children’s resilience and their ability to cope with stressful situations in life.

The video shows the Duchess of Cambridge talking with primary school children about the importance of being able to talk openly and express their feelings and the value of the Place2Be campaign in their school.


Chief executive of Place2Be, Catherine Roche said: “We are thrilled to have the support of our Royal Patron, The Duchess of Cambridge, for Children’s Mental Health Week which this year focuses on the benefits of building children’s resilience as a key life skill to help cope with life’s difficult situations, both in childhood and into adult years.

"Place2Be’s work in over 250 schools and our training for school staff focus on understanding a child’s behaviour and helping them to manage their emotions in a positive way. We are hugely grateful to The Duchess for helping to remove the stigma around children’s mental health and for shining a spotlight on the value of supporting children in school from an early age.”

In the video, the Duchess speaks about the importance of building resilience in children. She said: “Every child deserves to grow up feeling confident that they won't fall at the first hurdle, that they cope with life's setbacks. This resilience - our ability to deal with stressful situations - is something we begin to learn in childhood, as we respond to each challenge and problem life presents.

“Many of us are incredibly fortunate that the issues we face in childhood are ones we can cope with and learn from. But for some children, learning to cope with life's challenges can be a struggle. While we cannot always change a child's circumstances, we can give them the tools to cope, and to thrive.

With early support they can learn to manage their emotions and feelings and know when to seek help.”
 
Children’s Mental Health week coincides with the publication of a survey conducted by the National Association of Head Teachers’ members, which has revealed that more than 60 per cent of primary schools in England do not have a counsellor in their school.

Her Royal Highness said that both she and The Duke of Cambridge feel that ‘every child deserves to be supported through difficult times in their lives’.

Talking about the important role of schools in providing children with emotional support, she said: "Schools are uniquely placed to provide emotional support, working with children and their families - this is something that Place2Be understands. I am incredibly proud to be their Patron. This Children's Mental Health Week we want to support schools to prioritise the emotional well-being of their students, alongside academic success. By ensuring every child is given the emotional support they need, we are giving them a firm foundation for the happy healthy future they deserve.”

The children talking to the Duchess of Cambridge in the video commented: “Place2Be has helped me a lot. If it wasn’t in the school, I don’t think I’d be able to cope as much.” While another said: “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.”

She goes on to speak about the importance of addressing mental health problems in early life. She added: “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. This needs to change."

The video message can be watched at: www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk where there are also tips and guidance for parents to help build children’s resilience.

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