Since assuming her new title as Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton has ensured that one thing remains at the top of her list of priorities: the mental health of the UK’s younger generations.
The princess, who often spoke about mental health and wellbeing when she was Duchess of Cambridge, has today written about the importance of nurturing and understanding the early years as part of her campaign to improve the wellbeing of young people.
Since assuming her new title following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, many of the Princess’s public engagements have focused on the mental well-being of children, young people and adults, from running a news program on adolescent mental health on the BBC Radio 1 to a visit to a neonatal unit in Surrey that cares for new mothers.
writing on The Telegraph This morning, Kate, a mother of three, wrote about the importance of the first years of a child’s life, from pregnancy to age five, in shaping their well-being throughout their lives, as the brain develops. quickly. She called on parents and professionals to recognize the ‘unique potential of early childhood’ in creating a safe, loving and nurturing environment for every child.
The Princess of Wales (pictured speaking to a young girl at the unveiling of a Windrush Generation statue in June 2022) has written an article highlighting the importance of focusing on early years development.
The Princess of Wales cited issues such as homelessness, poor mental health and addiction, noting that the first five years of a child’s life are key in determining how they will fare as adults. She called for more focus in these early years to effectively address these issues.
She concluded: “I am determined to continue to shed light on this issue and to do everything possible to ensure much greater focus on those crucial early years for the youngest members of our society – after all, they are our future.” ‘
Kate’s op-ed reflects several years of work on early years, maternal and adolescent mental health as she continues her quest to improve the nation’s well-being.
Kate, 40, (pictured visiting a nursery in Edinburgh in 2021) has long championed early years development and the importance of focusing on how children are nurtured for the first five years of their lives. lives.
The mother of three has a clear affinity for children, often stopping to meet and talk with them during public engagements. Pictured this month talking to a young child in Hillingdon, West London.
Last month, the Princess of Wales teamed up with her husband to lead a BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat broadcast in which teenagers and young people were invited to talk about their mental health problems and how they had sought help.
Last year, Kate launched the Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood, established to increase the focus on the first years of a child’s life to impact later life.
According to its website, the center focuses on three main areas: research on the importance of the early years; collaboration with the public, private and voluntary sectors to share knowledge; and campaigns to raise awareness on the issue.
Last month, the Princess joined her husband, Prince William, in leading a BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat broadcast featuring teenagers and young people who have struggled with their mental health, hoping to encourage others to open up and seek help. when they need it. it’s.
During the stream, Kate said there was no “right or wrong” way to take care of one’s mental health, as different people will find different solutions that work best for them.
She said: “The first step for all of us is to keep having those conversations and keep asking for help.”
This summer, the princess also worked hard to promote their cause, after she partnered with the Maternal Mental Health Alliance to record a video message after she was announced as a sponsor.
The MMHA is a UK-wide charity and a network of over 100 organizations working to ensure that women and families affected by perinatal mental health problems have access to high-quality, comprehensive care and support.
In the video message, she said: “We all know that pregnancy, childbirth and the first months and years of a child’s life can be very demanding.” Parents often feel alone and overwhelmed by these early years.
It is reported that around 20 per cent of women in the UK experience perinatal mental illness.
‘Unfortunately, we also know that many more are suffering in silence. No one is immune to experiencing anxiety and depression during this time.’
She added: ‘There is so much more to do. And it’s up to each and every one of us to support parents and caregivers, and all those who are raising children today.
‘Because by ensuring that the next generation of children can thrive, we can help build a stronger, healthier and more enriching society that benefits us all.’