Children’s mental awareness was raised by Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton in a recent blogpost. She talked about the stigma related to mental disorder and the psychological well-being of her own children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
During a morning conference at the Kensington Palace with Huffington Post UK editor Stephen Hull, his staff, and some of the mental health charities she is associated with, she said, “Like most parents today, William and I would not hesitate to seek help for our children if they needed it.”
Acting as a guest editor for the Huffington Post today, she launched “Young Minds Matter,” a new series where issues and work involving the mental health of young children will be explored.
In her article, “Let’s Make a Real Difference for an Entire Generation of Young Children,” for the Huffington Post, she wrote, “The mental health of our children must be seen as every bit as important as their physical health. For too long we have been embarrassed to admit when our children need emotional or psychiatric help, worried that the stigma associated with these problems would be detrimental to their futures. Research published today by the Huffington Post indicates that around a third of parents still worry that they will look like a bad mother or father if their child has a mental health problem. Parenting is hard enough without letting prejudices stop us from asking for the help we need for ourselves and our children.”
She has commissioned a series of articles, blogs, and videos to introduce some extraordinary people and organizations and researchers.
She wrote, “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.”
She stressed that there is no shame in young children struggling with their emotions or suffering from a mental illness. She admitted that she was aware that it wasn’t an easy task.
“Of course, for some parents and carers seeking help is not so easy. When families are short of time or money it is not always easy to know where to look for help or advice. That is why we need schools and communities to play their full role to help children who are struggling in ways that are not always easy to see.”
A recent report by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) carried out a snapshot survey of 1,455 English headteachers and found that a fifth of their pupils have a mental health problem before the age of 11. Two-thirds of schools said they cannot deal with such issues. Forty-three percent of head teachers said they had been finding it harder to access services for pupils with mental illness due to child and adolescent mental health services becoming completely overwhelmed. Sixty-four percent of schools do not have access to a counselor on-site, reports the Daily Beast.
Kate used a computer mouse to launch the news website’s top story or “splash,” a piece titled “Never Too Young” about the importance of early intervention for those with mental health problems, from a newsroom set up in a palace drawing room, reported the Irish Independent.
James Martin, the executive editor for the Huffington Post, said, “We’ve prepared what we call a splash, which is a hangover term from the time of newspapers when you’d splash a story on a newspaper and it’s translated here into digital.”
Whether Catherine Middleton’s stand on children’s health awareness issues is political, and against the current government, or in all fairness, a genuine charity engagement remains to be seen.
[Photo by Chris Jackson/Pool/AP]