The Duchess of Cambridge has kick-started a new mental health campaign to encourage children “to be comfortable in their own skin.”
In a video message, the Duchess also calls for parents and teachers to “give children the emotional strength” they need to “fulfil their true potential”.
Her comments were recorded to highlight the children’s charity Place2Be, of which she is patron, and coincide with Children’s Mental Health Week 2018, which starts today.
“Childhood is an incredibly important moment in our lives,” the Duchess said.
“It is the time when we explore our personalities, discover the potential that lies within us and learn how to be ourselves.
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“Our experience of the world at this early stage helps to shape who we become as adults, how we begin to feel comfortable in our own skin.”
The Duchess recorded the video during last month’s visit to Reach Academy in Feltham, West London.
Her video message ties in with a new campaign by Place2Be – called Being Ourselves – which helps youngsters tackle low self-esteem and create a positive images of themselves.
According to Place2Be, low self-esteem affects more than eight in 10 of the pupils who get Place2Be’s one-to-one help with some children reportedly compare themselves negatively to others, particularly online.
Speaking about the campaign Catherine Roche, chief executive of Place2Be, said: “This Children’s Mental Health Week we are encouraging everyone, and especially children and young people, to focus on what makes them who they are, and to celebrate their unique qualities and strengths.”
“We’ll all face difficult times in our lives, but helping children to have a positive view of themselves can help them find the inner strength and resilience to cope with those challenges.”
The mental health and wellbeing of children has always been a top priority for the Duchess. Last month she helped launch a new website to help children access better mental health support in school.
Mentally Healthy Schools is the latest initiative from the Heads Together campaign launched by the Duchess alongside her husband Prince William and Prince Harry which aims to highlight gaps in mental health provisions.
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