'No mother is immune to depression': Kate becomes patron of mental health charity

6 May 2022, 15:37 | Updated: 6 May 2022, 16:07

Kate says no mother 'is immune to depression' as Duchess backs mental health charity. Picture: Kensington Palace

By Liam Gould

The Duchess of Cambridge has said no mother is "immune to experiencing anxiety and depression" as she became patron of a "fantastic" charity supporting the mental health of women.

Kate said it was crucial for those "struggling" to be given the "right support at the right time" in a video message to mark her new role as patron of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.

The mother-of-three also urged people to play their part, saying everyone needed to help "parents and carers, and all those who are raising children today".

The announcement comes during Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, which ends on Sunday.

The MMHA is a charity of more than 100 organisations works to ensure women across the UK that are affected by perinatal mental health problems have access to care and support.

In the video message, the emphasised the message of "power and importance of connection", especially coming out of the coronavirus pandemic.

She added: "But we all know that pregnancy, childbirth and the first months and years of a child's life can be hugely demanding. Parents often feel lonely and overwhelmed by these early years.

"Around 20% of women in the UK are reported to experience perinatal mental illness. Sadly, we also know that many more are suffering in silence. No one is immune to experiencing anxiety and depression during this time.

"It is crucial, therefore, that all those who might be struggling are given the right support at the right time, so that they're able to share these feelings without fear of judgment and can access the information, care and support they need to recover."

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The MMHA's Everyone's Business is campaigning for all women who experience mental health problems at any stage of pregnancy to receive support.

Around one in five women develop a mental health problem during pregnancy or within the early years after having a baby, according to statistics by the MMHA.

The pandemic has further increased the mental health risks new and expectant mothers face, which if untreated could have a devastating impact on both the mother and their families.

Kate also highlighted the collaboration between charities in raising awareness for the women's mental health.

"Much of this vital work has been led by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, a fantastic organisation of which I am extremely proud to become patron of today," she said.

The MMHA's Everyone's Business is campaigning for all women who experience mental health problems at any stage of pregnancy to receive support. . Picture: Kensington Palace

"There is plenty more to be done. And it's down to each and every one of us to support parents and carers, and all those who are raising children today.

"Because by ensuring that the next generation of children can thrive, we can help to build a stronger, healthier and more nurturing society which benefits us all."

The latest patronage will join the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in having the Duchess of Cambridge's backing.

It maintains the theme of supporting the early development of children that has become one of the main pillars of her public role.

Luciana Berger, chair of the MMHA which was founded in 2011, said the alliance was "honoured" Kate had become its patron.

She added: "The duchess's longstanding dedication to the early years and keen interest in mental health marry beautifully with the alliance's mission to ensure every mum, baby and family affected by perinatal mental health problems can access the right care and support necessary.

"We look forward to working with the duchess to make this goal a reality for all."