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Kate Middleton Made a Big Statement About Children’s Mental Health

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In what the media have deemed her “biggest speech as the Duchess of Cambridge” to date, Kate Middleton addressed school leaders and mental health experts at a Place2Be Headteacher Conference called “My Head is Too Full.”

Place2Be is a UK-based nonprofit that provides emotional and therapeutic services in schools. Their services reach 105,000 children, addressing issues such as bullying, domestic violence, neglect and trauma. In her speech, the Duchess addressed the importance of early intervention for mental health.

Imagine if everyone was able to help just one child who needs to be listened to, needs to be respected, and needs to be loved — we could make such a huge difference for an entire generation. As head teachers you have the chance to reach tens of thousands of children during your careers and make an impact on a great scale,” she said.

#DuchessofCambridge arrives at @_place2be Headteacher Conference #SchoolConf

A video posted by Emily Nash (@emynash) on

In her own childhood, Middleton was provided with support and love from her parents and teachers.

But of course, many children are not so lucky,” she said in her speech. “Since beginning my work in areas like addiction, for example, I have seen time and time again that the roots of poor mental health in adulthood are almost always present in unresolved childhood challenges… Parents, teachers and other school staff need the tools to help these young people early in their lives. And the earlier, the better. It is proven that early action prevents problems later in life.”


According to Mental Health America, those who are exposed to adverse childhood events like abuse or neglect are 2.6 times more likely to have depression, five times more likely to have serious alcohol problems and 17 times more likely to have learning or behavioral problems. Early intervention can be the key to mental health recovery.

Many children – even those from stable, happy homes – are finding that their heads are just too full,” the Duchess said. “It is our duty, as parents and as teachers, to give all children the space to build their emotional strength and provide a strong foundation for their future.”

Originally published: November 18, 2015
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