THE DUCHESS of Cambridge has urged young people to find the courage to open up about their mental health.
In a message written to mark Children’s Mental Health Week, Kate said children can find the world “scary and daunting” and giving them the confidence to share their worries could be “transformational” to their lives.
First launched by the charity Place2Be in 2015, this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week focuses on the theme of “find your brave”.
The initiative aims to highlight to young people that being brave does not mean coping alone with mental health concerns.
Place2Be suggests sharing worries, asking for help, trying something new and being pushed outside your comfort zone can be beneficial to young people.
In her message, the duchess, royal patron of the charity, wrote: “For many children today, the world can feel a scary and daunting place.
“While we might not always feel brave inside, even the smallest act – such as sharing a worry or asking for help – can be incredibly courageous.
“Helping children to feel confident about seeking support can have a transformational impact on their lives.
“Being able to try new things and push ourselves outside of our comfort zone are important skills that can build children’s resilience and self-esteem.
“Learning these skills early in life can give children tools to cope with future challenges they may face in adulthood.”
Last month, Kate launched a landmark national survey on the early years development of children.
The poll, conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the Royal Foundation, is thought to be the biggest survey of its kind and will ask “five big questions on the under-fives”.
The duchess had made the issue of the “future health and happiness” of children a pillar of her public activities and hopes the results of the survey will spark a conversation on early childhood and guide the focus of her work.
“Our long-term ambition is to bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come,” she said.
“I’d love schools and families across the country to take part in the week to help children and young people to ‘find their brave’.”
Catherine Roche, chief executive of Place2Be, added: “This week, schools across the UK are helping pupils understand what it means to be brave.
“Life often throws challenges our way, and it’s important that children of all ages know it’s not a weakness to speak up or ask for help.
“We are delighted that our Royal Patron is once again offering her support for the campaign.
“Around three children in every class have a mental health problem, so it’s vital that we reach as many people as possible with this important message.”
Additional Reporting by PA Media