Kate Launches New Mental Health Website for Children

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Today was a big day in Cambridge World. The Duchess launched a new mental health project attached to her focus area under the Heads Together umbrella – childhood development and early intervention. Working with Place2Be and the Anna Freud Centre, both of whom she’s carried out engagements with this month, as well as Young Minds UK, she announced the launch of a new online resource for teachers housing information and materials that will help them support their students.

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The website, Mentally Healthy Schools, targets teachers and school administrators, but will be publicly available this spring.

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While Heads Together began as a listening tour and continues to focus on the issue of destigmatizing mental health with the public, the next phase of it, particularly over the next year, is to facilitate access to resources.

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To launch this endeavor, Kate visited Roe Green Junior School where she met with students and staff and participated in a lesson designed to support mental health using material from the Mentally Healthy Schools site.

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Kate also delivered a speech, the full text of which is at the end of this post. Reporter Richard Palmer captured video:

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Also on hand was Minister of Schools Nick Gibb.

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Kate recycled a blue Sportsmax coat that she debuted while pregnant with Princess Charlotte. This coat drew mixed opinion at the time and I wasn’t a fan of it back in 2015, but I do think today’s stylings helped with its presentation. I actually think its biggest problem is that Kate wears it closed, when its wide collar and draping probably make this more eye-catching when worn unfastened.

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The coat was paired with a blue printed scarf by Beulah London and topped off with blue suede heels by Rupert Sanderson.

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Once inside, Kate showed off a new blue maternity dress by Séraphine featuring an A-line skirt, small flaps at the waist reminiscent of an Alexander McQueen and subtle bell sleeves, which help keep the look from being too hum-drum. I wouldn’t say the dress is a showstopper by any means, but as far as Kate’s maternity dresses go, I genuinely like this one.

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We’ll see Kate again tomorrow for yet another engagement in London, and after that it’ll finally be time for the Scandinavian tour!

As for the Duke, he delivered a speech at the Charity Commission AGM today discussing the charity sector and referencing the examples of his grandparents and his parents. See video below:

Kate’s speech

Hello everyone, and thank you to all those that I have met this morning, children and staff.

Over the last two years, William and Harry and I have been honoured to take part in a national conversation on mental health through our Heads Together campaign.

We know that mental health is an issue for us all – children and parents, young and old, men and women – of all backgrounds and of all circumstances.

What we have seen first-hand is that the simple act of having a conversation about mental health – that initial breaking of the silence – can make a real difference.

But, as you here today know: starting a conversation is just that – it’s a start.

This is particularly true of the conversations that take place in our schools, and with our children.

I see time and time again that there is so much to be gained from talking of mental health and taking the mental health of our children as seriously as we do their physical health.

When we intervene early in life, we help avoid problems that are much more challenging to address in adulthood.

My own commitment is to the youngest and most vulnerable in their early years – babies, toddlers and school-children – and to support all those who care for them.

The role of teachers here is absolutely vital. You see our children as they grow, learn and play, as they build their social skills that will make the difference to their futures.

You are uniquely placed to help children speak out about their mental and emotional challenges, and direct parents and carers to the right support.

I am all too aware, however, of how much we ask teachers to take on. Teachers want to help, but don’t have the time to go hunting for the best information and advice out there. You need resources you can trust. And you need to have easy access to them at all times.

That is what this pilot is all about.

Led by the Royal Foundation, with close collaboration from our Heads Together partners, this new online resource will transform schools’ access to high-quality information, and guide teachers and school leaders towards the best support out there.

The ambition is to roll this website out this year so it’s available to every teacher in every primary school in the UK. The ultimate goal is that all teachers in the country should know where to turn for expert resources to support the emotional well-being and mental health of children in their care.

I would ask each of you here today to work with the Foundation to develop this new essential resource. Please let us know what works, what doesn’t, and what else you would like to see. This project has been collaboration from day one. It will only succeed if we continue to work together.

And with that in mind, it’s so exciting to see the Department for Education, represented by the Minister here today, taking such a close interest.

Finally, I’d like to say a huge thank you to you all. We would not be here today without the help of our Heads Together partners, including the Anna Freud Centre, Place2Be and Young Minds.

I am grateful, too, to the Centre for Mental Health, the National Association of Head Teachers and the fifty schools taking part in this pilot. I am so excited to see where this work will take us in future. Thank you.

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