The Duchess of Cambridge has long been involved in various charity endeavours that aim to bring awareness to mental health issues around the world.
More specifically, the Duchess has begun upon a path that will see her focus centred around the mental health of children.
Her campaign to end the stigma attached to childhood mental health issues has taken a new direction as Her Royal Highness took over The Huffington Post as Guest Editor.
After she launched Children’s Mental Health week earlier this month, The Duchess followed up with the launch of Young Minds Matter – a vehicle through which problems, causes and solutions to the stigma surrounding the mental health crisis among children, can be addressed.
In her first post as Guest Editor, The Duchess wrote a moving op-ed about the current state of affairs, where children are concerned.
She opened the piece with a stirring account of how addiction and other mental health issues, in adulthood, often stem from experiences in childhood that are left untreated.
“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 spoke about the need to prioritise childhood mental health just as much, if not more so, than we prioritise their physical health.
She raised an important point about parents who are too scared to come forward with their concerns. Citing stigma as the main reason behind parent’s unwillingness to address their children’s issues, she called for an end to prejudice and a greater support network.
“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. Research published today by the Huffington Post indicates that around a third of parents still worry that they will look like a bad mother or father if their child has a mental health problem. Parenting is hard enough without letting prejudices stop us from asking for the help we need for ourselves and our children.”
The Duchess continued on by stating that both George and Charlotte are being raised to feel comfortable speaking about their feelings, with the hope that they develop the tools to support others, as they grow older.
“Of course, for some parents and carers seeking help is not so easy. When families are short of time or money it is not always easy to know where to look for help or advice. That is why we need schools and communities to play their full role to help children who are struggling in ways that are not always easy to see.”
As such, the Young Minds Matter series will call on health professionals, parents and community members to make a difference in society and help to support children and parents who are in need.