The Duchess of Cambridge says it is important that every child is given “the best possible support to ensure they fulfil their true potential” in a video message recorded to help launch Children’s Mental Health Week today.
Kate is a patron of the charity Place2Be, which provides mental health services to 282 schools across the UK and created the awareness campaign.
She filmed the video during last month’s visit to Reach Academy Feltham in west London, which is supported by the charity. In it, she is seen meeting two Year 11 pupils, Lauren and Sophia, mother-of two Mandy, and Principal Ed Vainker.
In her message, she says: “Childhood is an incredibly important moment in our lives. It is the time when we explore our personalities, discover the potential that lies within us and learn how to be ourselves. Our experience of the world at this early stage helps to shape who we become as adults, how we begin to feel comfortable in our own skin.
"Some children will be facing tougher challenges than others, but I firmly believe that while we cannot change their circumstances, we can ensure that every child is given the best possible support to ensure they fulfil their true potential. This is best achieved when we, the adults in their lives, work together to give children the emotional strength they need to face their futures and thrive.
"Whether we are school leaders, teachers, support staff or parents, we each have a role to play. When we are open and honest with each other about the challenges we face, we can work together to ensure the children in our care have the chance to become the best version of themselves.”
The theme of this year’s campaign, which runs from 5-11 February, is "Being Ourselves". It is designed to encourage children and young people "to feel comfortable with who they are and celebrate what makes them unique”.
Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be, said: “We know from our work in schools that some children find it difficult to think of themselves positively, as it’s all too easy nowadays to compare ourselves negatively to others, especially online.
“This Children’s Mental Health Week we are encouraging everyone, and especially children and young people, to focus on what makes them who they are, and to celebrate their unique qualities and strengths. We’ll all face difficult times in our lives, but helping children to have a positive view of themselves can help them find the inner strength and resilience to cope with those challenges.”
The Duchess, who is expecting her third baby in the Spring, has been Patron of Place2Be since 2013, reflecting her interest in children's mental health.