Duchess Catherine calls for mental health action

Britain's Duchess Catherine has recorded a video message to kick-start Children's Mental Health Week in which she calls for action against the "stigma" surrounding the issue.

Duchess Catherine
Duchess Catherine

Britain's Duchess Catherine has called for action against the "stigma" surrounding children's mental health.

The 33-year-old royal - who is pregnant with her and Prince William's second child - believes people should talk about mental health issues more to avoid any parents or children feeling "embarrassed" about broaching such a subject.

In a video message to kick-start events for Children's Mental Health Week, of which she is the face of, Catherine said: "The stigma around mental health means that many children do not get the help that they so badly need.

"This needs to change. That is why the charity Place2Be is asking us all to talk openly this week.

"We need to help young people and their parents understand that it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help.

"A child's mental health is just as important as their physical health and deserves the same quality of support. No-one would feel embarrassed about asking for help for a child if they broke their arm. We really should be equally ready to support a child coping with emotional difficulties."

The brunette - who has 18-month-old son Prince George with William - is the royal patron of charity Place2Be, which has organised the mental health week, and she is confident if more parents and kids speak about mental health issues then bigger problems can be avoided later in life.

She added: "Through Place2Be I have seen the benefits of offering children support for their mental health in the safety of the school environment.

"Both William and I sincerely believe that early action can prevent problems in childhood from turning into larger ones in later life."

Catherine's comments come after it was revealed in a survey that more than a third of parents would be "embarrassed" if their child required counseling for mental health issues.

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