Kate Middleton - the Duchess of Cambridge - has written an emotive article in the hope to raise awareness for children's mental health #YoungMindsMatter
From where we’re sitting Kate Middleton – the Duchess Of Cambridge and Prince William are doing a sterling job at being parents but today Kate has spoken out about the struggles parents face when children suffer from mental illness.
As part of the #YoungMindsMatter campaign Kate has guest edited The Huffington Post website and written an emotive piece in the hope to raise awareness about the topic. She also speaks candidly about her and William being parent to Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Kate wrote that for too long parents have been ’embarrassed’ to admit children need psychiatric care, worried of the stigma this may attract.
But she said it was time for our perception of mental illness to change, and admitted that her and Wills, ‘would not hesitate’ to seek help if their children, two-year-old George and nine-month-old Charlotte, needed it.
She wrote: ‘For too long we have been embarrassed to admit when our children need emotional or psychiatric help, worried that the stigma associated with these problems would be detrimental to their futures.’
The Duchess added that parenting is hard enough without letting prejudices stop people from asking for help.
And as a mother herself, she said she and Wills will do all they can to encourage their children to speak about their feelings and seek support if they need it.
She wrote: ‘Like most parents today, William and I would not hesitate to seek help for our children if they needed it.
‘We hope to encourage George and Charlotte to speak about their feelings, and to give them the tools and sensitivity to be supportive peers to their friends as they get older.
‘We know there is no shame in a young child struggling with their emotions or suffering from a mental illness.’
The Duchess – who spends most of her time in Norfolk where George goes to nursary – began campaigning on mental health soon after getting married and is patron of several related charities.
She wrote: ‘As was to be expected, I often heard some heart-breaking stories about lives that had been torn apart, with devastating impacts for all involved, particularly children.
‘What I did not expect was to see that time and time again, the issues that led people to addiction and destructive decision-making seemed to almost always stem from unresolved childhood challenges.
‘It became clear to me that many children – even those younger than five – have to deal with complex problems without the emotional resilience, language or confidence to ask for help.
‘And it was also clear that, with mental health problems still being such a taboo, many adults are often too afraid to ask for help for the children in their care.’
She called for this ‘to change’ and for children’s mental health to be seen as every bit as important as their physical well-being.
And she paid tribute to the ‘extraordinary people and organisations; that have contributed to the mental health series.
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