Today the Duchess of Cambridge launched Young Minds Matter, a significant initiative “…designed to lead the conversation with children about mental and emotional health, so youngsters feel loved, valued and understood.”
The initiative was announced in tandem with Kate’s stint as guest editor of the Huffington Post UK.
Apartment 8 at Kensington Palace was turned into a quasi-newsroom to accommodate everyone working on the day’s endeavor. More from AP:
The duchess -the patron of several charities that deal with the issue – spent the day working with Huffington Post staff and mental health campaigners from a temporary newsroom set up in her Kensington Palace home. She wrote that she’s heard “heart-breaking stories about lives that had been torn apart.”
Kate has been working with a variety of journalists and others to create content for the Huffington Post UK site with a focus on young people and mental health issues.
Plenty of Huffington Post personnel were involved in the project, including founder Arianna Huffington; she dedicated a column to the Young Minds Matter initiative.
Together, we want to open up the conversation around mental health – an issue that’s too often stigmatised and discussed only in whispers, if at all.
The Duchess, as the world knows, is herself the mother of two young children, and knows the importance of shining a light on this issue, especially for the vulnerable and the voiceless.
In her column Ms. Huffington urged readers to get involved and take part in the conversation, using the hashtag #YoungMinds Matter.
The Duchess also wrote an editorial for the project, “Let’s Make a Real Difference for an Entire Generation of Young Children.”
It became clear to me that many children – even those younger than five – have to deal with complex problems without the emotional resilience, language or confidence to ask for help. And it was also clear that with mental health problems still being such a taboo, many adults are often too afraid to ask for help for the children in their care.
It is time for this to change.
One of the most-discussed topics from today’s project is one Kate addresses above; the way many adults feel about getting help for a child coping with psychological issues.
More from Gordon Rayner’s column in The Telegraph:
The Duchess of Cambridge has written a blog in which she says she would not hesitate to seek professional help if Prince George or Princess Charlotte developed mental health problems.
The Duchess said she and the Duke of Cambridge will encourage their children to talk about their feelings because “there is no shame in a young child struggling with their emotions or suffering from a mental illness”.
Kate and a combined team commissioned a series of articles, blogs and videos as part of her today’s HuffPo focus on children’s mental health. Some high-powered people were pulled in to offer their assistance, including Michelle Obama.
The First Lady wrote a guest editorial, Let’s Change the Conversation Around Mental Health:
Sadly, too often, the stigma around mental health prevents people who need help from seeking it. But that simply doesn’t make any sense. Whether an illness affects your heart, your arm or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there shouldn’t be any distinction. We would never tell someone with a broken leg that they should stop wallowing and get it together. We don’t consider taking medication for an ear infection something to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t treat mental health conditions any differently.
This graphic from Change Direction was part of Ms. Obama’s column. Change Direction is a US organization working to improve mental health care and help remove the stigma attached to mental illness.
Kate seemed quite comfortable in the busy environment.
It was clear she was highly engaged in the project.
A number of William and Kate’s charities were involved in today’s effort, including The Art Room.
There is also a brief video about The Art Room’s programs, with children speaking about the benefits they receive by taking part in Art Room projects at their school.
Another charity taking part in the day’s endeavor, The Prince’s Trust; the organization posted this graphic on Twitter today.
The Huffington Post produced a video for the launch of Young Minds Matter, The Real Truth About Mental Health in Children:
Kate invited the four children featured in the film to visit her at Kensington Palace today.
They shared their experiences with the Duchess and others. Below, Kate enjoying her chat with Hayden Pearce.
One of the day’s primary objectives was to create awareness around the topic of young people and mental health, to start a conversation about the issue both online and off. It seems the day’s goal was achieved, there was a significant amount of buzz and chatter on social media throughout the day. If interested in learning more about the topic, or taking part in the online conversation, using the hashtag #YoungMindsMatter on Twitter, Instagram and other social media will bring up stories, articles, blog posts and related material. If there is something you want to share publicly, just tag any post with #YoungMindsMatter.
The vintage-inspired piece is styled with a high neck topped by a ruffle, 6 rows of sheer vertical insets, and long sleeves, all done in a light chiffon polyester. It is still available at Reiss in very limited sizing, priced at $230.
Kate was in another new style, the Bouclé Wool Blend Skirt from Dolce and Gabbana, a brand she is returning to more frequently. Crafted of a wool/acrylic/poly/alpaca blend, the piece has contrasting buttons and yarn trim, with a somewhat higher waist and back zipper.
Kate looked crisp and polished in today’s ensemble. It was nice to see her in separates, a welcome departures from her standard dresses. The skirt looked short to me, but there is only the one full length photo I have seen, I will go hunt for some others. The different textures made for a solid ensemble, the nubby tweedy of the bouclé contrasting nicely against the soft fabric of the blouse. And it was also a treat to see the Duchess without a coat,
I believe Kate accessorized with her trusty Power Pumps by Stuart Weitzman. Below left you see the shoes as worn today, the photo has been digitally treated to lighten the image, displaying a little more detail. There has been discussion that Kate might be in a new pair of heels because the soles of her shoes looked lighter in some images, as seen below right, unlike the standard Stuart Weitzman black soles shown in the center photo below. I don’t think that is the case. The center and right photos show how the black sole can look light in color, depending on how worn it is, the level of dirt on the bottom of the shoes, lighting, and other reasons. At this point I think they are the Power Pumps, but, as always, I could be proven wrong.
Kate also wore familiar jewelry pieces today.
We leave this section with an ODN (On Demand News) video showing some of this morning’s activity at Kensington Palace.
A few quick newsbytes to share, beginning with word that the Duchess has another patronage, she has added the Anna Freud Centre to her list of charities. This dovetails perfectly with Kate’s commitment to mental health issues encountered by children and young people, as it is something the Centre is very much focused on; Below she is seen at the Centre’s Christmas party in December.
Here you see Kate with a young man she met when visiting the Centre in September.
Here is more about the announcement from the Centre’s website:
The patronage reflects Her Royal Highness’s continued personal interest in children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, said: “I am honoured that the Duchess of Cambridge has chosen to become a patron of the Anna Freud Centre.
Also today, another engagement for Kate’s Calendar:
- Wednesday, February 24: The Countess of Strathearn (as Kate is titled when in Scotland) will make multiple visits to see school-based charities in action in Edinburgh. In the morning she will visit 2 patronages which have a Scottish presence:Place2Be and The Art Room. In the afternoon Kate will take part in a program trying to boost tennis popularity and participation at a grassroots level, the “Tennis on the Road” coaching clinic will be hosted by Judy Murray, Andy Murray’s mother. Below, Ms. Murray with some young students.
We will see you tomorrow for William and Kate’s return to Anglesey and RAF Valley, where they will attend the Search and Rescue Force Disbandment Parade. (The SAR operations are being privatized.)
- The full Huffington Post primary article about Young Minds Matter is here, Michelle Obama’s entire article is here
- For an ITN video click here, to see the entire Art Room video click here
- The Anna Freud Centre website is here, its Facebook page is here and Twitter feed is here; the full statement from the Anna Freud Centre about Kate becoming royal patron may be read
- The Huffington Post UK‘s comprehensive page filed with coverage, links and more may be seen here