To mark the start of Children’s Mental Health Week, The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of Place2Be, has sent a message of support encouraging children and parents to find ways to share their thoughts and feelings, particularly during such a challenging time.
During the video message, The Duchess highlights the crucial need for parents and carers to look after their own mental wellbeing, and the impact that this has on the children in their care.
Last year, Her Royal Highness launched her landmark survey on the Early Years, ‘5 Big Questions on the Under-Fives’, which aimed to spark the biggest ever conversation on early childhood that will ultimately help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come. The research revealed that whilst 90% of people acknowledge that maintaining parental mental health is crucial to support the health and happiness of their child, in practice the majority of parents struggle to prioritise their own wellbeing.
The theme for this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is ‘Express Yourself’ and focuses on the creative ways children and adults can share feelings, thoughts or ideas through art, music, writing, poetry, dance, drama, photography and film, or just doing activities that make them feel good.
In the message, The Duchess of Cambridge said:
“This year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is all about expressing yourself – about finding creative ways in which to share your thoughts, ideas and feelings. So whether that’s through photography, through art, through drama, through music or poetry – it’s finding those things that makes you feel good about yourself.
“And while this is Children’s Mental Health Week there has never been a more important time to talk about parental wellbeing and mental health too. Last year you told me just how important this was that many of us find it hard to prioritise. This is a hugely challenging time for us all so please look after yourself too. Find those ways in which to share your thoughts and your feelings or find someone to talk to because we really do need to be the very best versions of ourselves for the children in our care.”
Her Royal Highness has supported Children’s Mental Health week since it was launched by Place2Be in 2015 to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health.