The Duchess of Cambridge visited Roe Green Junior School in Kingsbury to launch a free website called Mentally Healthy Schools. The service is a collaboration between the Royal Foundation and Heads Together, the mental health campaign created by Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince Harry.
“This new online resource will transform schools’ access to high-quality information, and guide teachers and school leaders towards the best support out there,” Kate explained. “The ambition is to roll this website out this year so it’s available to every teacher in every primary school in the UK.” She added that “The ultimate goal is that all teachers in the country should know where to turn for expert resources to support the emotional well-being and mental health of children in their care.”
During her visit, Kate met students and teachers and sat in on a class before giving a moving speech. “Over the last two years, William and Harry and I have been honoured to take part in a national conversation on mental health through our Heads Together campaign,” Kate said. “We know that mental health is an issue for us all – children and parents, young and old, men and women – of all backgrounds and of all circumstances.”
Kate stressed the importance of creatingdialogue around mental health. “What we have seen first-hand is that the simple act of having a conversation about mental health – that initial breaking of the silence – can make a real difference. But, as you here today know: starting a conversation is just that – it’s a start.”
She then emphasised the need to focus on conversations with children especially. “This is particularly true of the conversations that take place in our schools, and with our children… There is so much to be gained from talking of mental health and taking the mental health of our children as seriously as we do their physical health. When we intervene early in life, we help avoid problems that are much more challenging to address in adulthood. My own commitment is to the youngest and most vulnerable in their early years – babies, toddlers and school-children – and to support all those who care for them.”
Kate continued: “The role of teachers here is absolutely vital. You see our children as they grow, learn and play, as they build their social skills that will make the difference to their futures. You are uniquely placed to help children speak out about their mental and emotional challenges, and direct parents and carers to the right support.” She added: “I am all too aware, however, of how much we ask teachers to take on. Teachers want to help, but don’t have the time to go hunting for the best information and advice out there. You need resources you can trust. And you need to have easy access to them at all times. That is what this pilot is all about.”
The Duchess, who is due to give birth to her third child in three months, was visibly showing in a stunning blue dress.