Tackling the “root causes” of mental health issues by working with young children, schools, parents and carers, is vital, the Duchess of Cambridge has said.
In a speech to the 100 Women in Finance Gala Dinner in aid of Mentally Healthy Schools, the duchess said: “The root causes to some of our most challenging experiences in adulthood such as poor mental and physical health, addiction, homelessness, crime and family breakdown, can so often be traced right back to the very earliest years of someone’s life and often over generations.
“We therefore need to look at prevention of some of these issues – before they take hold and become a problem.”
The duchess, who was speaking at the V&A Museum, in central London, added: “In my Early Years work, I am looking at how best we can support parents and families.
“However we must remember that teachers, school leaders and school staff also play a vital role in shaping who our children become and how they develop.
“We all need to start understanding the importance of childhood development, and tackling this from home and from school, through parents and teachers , if we are to help raise the next happier, healthier generation of adults.”
Kate, who wore a pink Gucci dress, met privately with the board members of 100 Women in Finance and other VIP guests before giving her speech to around 300 guests in the Raphael Gallery.
She is a patron of 100 Women in Finance’s Philanthropic Initiatives and net proceeds from the gala dinner will be given to The Royal Foundation’s Mentally Healthy Schools Programme.
The programme, launched by the duchess at the beginning of 2018, gives schools access to a website which provides practical resources for staff to support children’s mental well-being.
It is one of the legacy programmes from Heads Together, a mental health initiative spearheaded by The Royal Foundation which aims to help people of all ages to start conversations about their mental health.