Duchess of Cambridge urges parents to 'look after their mental health'

31 January 2021, 09:28

By Maddie Goodfellow

The Duchess of Cambridge has appealed to parents to "look after" themselves during this "hugely challenging time" in a video message to mark Children's Mental Health Week.

Kate also said mothers and fathers need to be "the very best versions of ourselves for the children in our care" in her address.

She has supported the annual initiative since it was launched in 2015 - to highlight the importance of children and young people's mental health - by Place2Be, a children's mental health charity of which she is royal patron.

In her message, Kate 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 make 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."

Kate has urged parents to 'look after their mental health' during the pandemic (file photo)
Kate has urged parents to 'look after their mental health' during the pandemic (file photo). Picture: PA

She continued: "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."

Last year Kate released the findings of her landmark study on the early years development of children.

The research revealed that while 90% of people acknowledged maintaining parental mental health was crucial to supporting the health and happiness of their child, in practice the majority of parents struggled to prioritise their own wellbeing.

In a recent video call with parents, the duchess revealed parenting during lockdown has left her "exhausted" and joked about her children recoiling in "horror" when she became their hairdresser.

Kate spoke candidly about the challenges of looking after Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis during a light-hearted chat with a group of parents and revealed husband William was her biggest support during the pandemic.

The duchess also urged families to "reach out to loved ones and friends" to help them deal with their mental health.

When asked to rate her maths ability, the duchess gave herself the score of minus five.

To start Children's Mental Health Week - February 1-7 - Place2Be has teamed up with Oak National Academy and Bafta Kids to create a free assembly celebrating this year's theme of "Express Yourself".