Kate Middleton Stands Up for Children’s Mental Health
Supporting children’s mental health now comes with royal approval. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, has started promoting a series of podcasts that cover the topic of children’s mental health. The podcasts are sponsored by the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families. Called “Child in Mind,” the series is hosted by BBC Radio 4 presenter Claudia Hammond. Segments are 20 minutes long and focus on helping parents understand mental health struggles that their children may be going through. The Duchess, who is a patron of the Anna Freud Centre, said
“Throughout my work with family and child support organizations, one thing that has stood out to me time and time again is that getting early support for a child who is struggling to cope is the best possible thing we can do to help our children as they grow up…Knowing this, both William and I feel very strongly that we wouldn’t hesitate to get expert support for George and Charlotte if they need it. One in three adults still say they would be embarrassed to seek help for their child’s mental health…It doesn’t need to be like this.”
Middleton pointed out that parents are often afraid to ask for mental health care for their children, and that the kids are suffering as a result. She hopes that the podcasts will help parents learn that they don’t need to fear seeking professional support. She highlighted that seeking mental health care for a child is no different from seeking a doctor’s advice if a child develops a fever. For her, the podcasts are a source of hope:
“They show how with the right help, children have a good chance of overcoming their issues while they are still young, and can have the bright future they deserve.”
As Middleton pointed out, mental health is still a taboo topic among parents. She is a prominent figure around the world, and her choice to speak out about this issue matters. She has the power to make people listen and perhaps can use that to help de-stigmatize the subject. Her comments also help us see Middleton as a mom, a peer rather than a princess. By speaking out and showing that seeking help from a mental health professional is something she would do to help her child, other moms might follow her example. To access the podcasts, go to annafreud.org, iTunes, or Soundcloud. And if you think your child is struggling with mental illness, don’t be afraid to seek help.