1. ITV Report

Children's Mental Health Week: Duchess of Cambridge urges emotional support for children

The Duchess of Cambridge has voiced her belief that the nation's children should be "supported through difficult times in their lives" in a video message recorded to mark Children's Mental Health Week.

Kate is the royal patron of the children's mental health charity Place2Be and in her message she highlights the importance of giving youngsters the "tools to cope, and to thrive" as they encounter life's challenges.

The Duchess said in the message:

This Children's Mental Health Week we want to support schools to prioritise the emotional wellbeing 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.

– Duchess of Cambridge

Children's Mental Health Week begins today and its focus this year is building the resilience of children and their ability to cope with stressful situations.

The Duchess filmed the video in Salusbury Primary School in Queen's Park, north-west London and is joined for parts of the message by four children who have benefited from support from Place2Be.

The short film begins with Kate shaking hands with the two boys and two girls and then cuts to her sitting alone in a classroom with a globe of the world in the background.

She tells the audience:

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.

– Duchess of Cambridge
Kate says she feels strongly about Children's mental health. Credit: Place2Be

Kate goes on to say: "William and I feel that every child deserves to be supported through difficult times in their lives."

Children's Mental Health Week comes as Place2Be publishes a survey of the National Association of Head Teachers' members, which reveals that two thirds of all primary schools in England do not have a counsellor in their schools.

Catherine Roche, chief executive of Place2Be, said: "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."