For children’s mental health week this week, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has released a video message to get schools to prioritise the emotional wellbeing of pupils, as they do academic progress.
The Duchess recorded the message in her role as patron of the children’s mental health charity Place2Be. In the video, released by the charity, Catherine sits at a table with four young pupils who have been helped by Place2Be, discussing their experience with the charity, as she also speaks of the situation faced by young people today.
She explains that many issues in adulthood stem from unresolved problems experienced as a child:
“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 know when to seek help.”
Kate, mother to Prince George and Princess Charlotte, has campaigned for early intervention since taking on patronages related to addiction and family breakdown, realising these are two root causes for such issues. This year’s focus centres upon the importance of building resilience during childhood, and having ability to cope with life’s stressful situations.
Statistics show that one in 10 children aged five to 16 suffers from a diagnosable mental health disorder, and 72% of children in care have behavioural or emotional problems, while 95% of young offenders have a mental health disorder.
“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,” Kate said.
Place2Be trains teachers and works in more than 250 schools with vulnerable children. Art is often used as a way to express feelings. The youngsters in the video have been helped by the charity.
Ryan, aged 10, told the Duchess: “Place2Be has helped me a lot. If it wasn’t in the school I don’t think I’d be able to cope as much.”
“Every child deserves to grow up feeling confident that they won’t fall at the first hurdle – that they cope with life’s setbacks,” Catherine said.
“This resilience, our ability to deal with stressful situations, is something we begin to learn in childhood, as we respond to each challenge and problem life presents.”
“Through my work in areas like addiction, I have seen time and again that the roots of poor mental health in adulthood frequently stem rom unresolved childhood issues. This needs to change,” the Duchess pleaded.
“William and I feel that every child deserves to be supported through difficult times in their lives.”