Over the past few years, Kate Middleton has made it a mission of hers to bring awareness to mental health issues.
She’s become a patron of Anna Freud National Care Centre for Children and Families, starred in a mental health PSA alongside husband Prince William and brother-in-law Prince Harry and even served as guest editor for The Huffington Post, penning an essay on the importance of improving and understanding the mental health of young children.
And now, the 35-year-old Duchess of Cambridge is speaking out on why people don’t receive mental health help—and she totally nailed it.
“The challenge that so many people have is not knowing how to take that first step of reaching out to another person for help. Admitting that they are not coping,” Kate (in a floral Erdem dress) said during an event in London on Tuesday for Heads Together, the Royals’ mental health charity. “Fear, or reticence, or a sense of not wanting to burden another, means that people suffer in silence—allowing the problem to grow larger and larger unchecked.”
And unfortunately, the Duchess is correct. Despite the increase of celebrities speaking out on mental health issues to break the stigma, people are still suffering in silence because of shame. Research even shows that misconceptions surrounding mental health conditions often stand in the way of people getting professional treatment.
However, Kate stressed that seeking help is of utmost importance, whether it be from a professional, or a friend.
“We have heard time and time again in the course of our work how talking can help heal the hidden challenges we can’t deal with alone. We have seen that two heads are better than one when dealing with a mental health problem,” she said. “William, Harry and I have been very privileged to witness in the course of our work countless examples of simple conversations that have changed lives, which were the first step on a path to recovery.”
The mother-of-two’s brief talk was part of an inspirational joint speech that included William and Harry to promote Heads Together and inform the press on their plans and hopes for the foundation, including being part of this year’s London Marathon. But the trio’s main point was to show how important it is to “just start a conversation with a friend, family member, colleague or a professional when dealing with a mental health challenge,” according to a palace statement.
“Some will ignore the signs of stress, others will insist they’re OK after losing a loved one. Some will be afraid to ask for help, others won’t have anyone to turn to,” said Harry, 32. “The truth is we can all help each other. You don’t need any qualifications to help your mate out, simply to listen to what they have to say.”
"We can all help each other. You don't need any qualifications to help your mate, simply to listen to what they have to say," Prince Harry. pic.twitter.com/OVSgwrnMZp
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 17, 2017
As for William, he said he hoped 2017 would be a “tipping point” for mental health.
“The three of us are really optimistic that things are changing,” said the 34-year-old Duke of Cambridge. It is no exaggeration to say that conversations—simple conversations—can be life-changing…And that’s what Catherine, Harry and I want to do—we want more people to be having those conversations.”
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