Last week, the Duchess of Cambridge hosted an important day in the advancement of awareness on the mental health of children in the UK and around the world as the Duchess of Cambridge acted as Guest Editor for the Huffington Post, running a temporary newsroom out of Kensington Palace.
As part of a global movement to encourage a new approach to children’s mental health, Kate championed the idea of having tough conversations that will help children overcome unresolved childhood challenges. She cited her work with charities helping those with issues as being where she first realized that many issues often start from childhood.
“It became clear to me that many children – even those younger than five – have to deal with complex problems without the emotional resilience, language or confidence to ask for help. With mental health problems still being such a taboo, many adults are often too afraid to ask for help for the children in their care. – Duchess of Cambridge”
You can read the full text of Kate’s well-written article on how you can make a difference in helping battle this incredibly important challenge. She even brings in thoughts for her own children, George and Charlotte.
“Like most parents today, William and I would not hesitate to seek help for our children if they needed it. We hope to encourage George and Charlotte to speak about their feelings, and to give them the tools and sensitivity to be supportive peers to their friends as they get older. We know there is no shame in a young child struggling with their emotions or suffering from a mental illness. – Duchess of Cambridge”
There was a series of articles posted throughout the day, including such poignant stories as a wife dealing with the recent suicide of her husband stemming from childhood depression. There were stories of people who have fought through their circumstances and have overcome their own mental health challenges. Interesting and thought provoking articles on the research being done to answer the questions about the mental health of young people to enable us all to better support the children in our lives and communities.
There was also support from the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. The first Lady wrote an article herself for the Huffington Post and highlighted her respect for Kate’s work and leadership on the important issue.
“Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been a passionate voice on so many important issues, and I’m grateful that she is using her day as Guest Editor to shine a bright light on mental health, particularly children’s mental health, and on the tens of millions of people who suffer in silence. – Michelle Obama”
Many of you will know our very own Dr. Christina, who has featured articles on mental health before on WWKD and know that this issue, of clear personal importance to Kate, is also one shared by the WWKD team. We think it’s very much like Kate to step up and speak out on an issue where you can make a difference in the world, and Kate’s closing remarks in her article speak that truth.
“I am so grateful to all those who have participated in this series and to all those who will contribute after today. I am also hugely grateful to all of you who will take the time to read, to watch, and to listen to these stories. Together, we have a chance to make a real difference for an entire generation of young children. – Duchess of Cambridge”
We posted an earlier article covering some of the details about Kate’s impromptu newsroom (and what she wore) if you are interested in those details. We close out this important day with 8 signs that a child may be dealing with depression, a featured article in today’s YoungMindsMatter launch. We encourage you to do what Kate would do, and take a moment to read them and reflect if any of the children in your life could need some additional support.
Possible signs of depression in children include:
- Unexplained anger and irritability.
- Lack of interest in activities they used to enjoy.
- A pessimistic outlook. If their team loses a game, for example, they blame themselves for the loss.
- Growing violence and unrest at home and at school.
- Signs of introversion and inability to interact socially.
- Frequent physical problems, most commonly, abdominal pain or headaches.
- Eating disorders.
- Sleep disorders.
Blog Post by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge: Let’s Make a Difference for an Entire Generation of Young Children
Blog Post by the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama: Let’s Change the Conversation Around Mental Health