Speech by The Duchess of Cambridge at the Place2Be Big Assembly for Children’s Mental Health Week
Mitchell Brook Primary School, Brent
6 February 2017
Thank you so much for such a warm welcome. And it is such a treat to be here to support Children’s Mental Health week.
People often ask me why I am so interested in the mental health of children and young people. And the answer is quite simple – because I think that every child should have the best possible start in life.
When I was growing up, I was very lucky. My family was the most important thing to me. They provided me with somewhere safe to grow and learn, and I know I was fortunate not to have been confronted by serious adversity at a young age.
For some children, maybe there are some here today; I know that life can sometimes feel difficult and full of challenges. I think that every child should have people around them to show them love, and to show them kindness, and nurture them as they grow. This is what Place2Be is doing so amazingly well here in your school.
Recently, I met a little 11-year-old girl who was helped by Place2Be. She told me that if you keep your feelings inside, you can feel as though you might blow up like a balloon. But, by talking to someone about them, it can make you feel so much better.
I thought that was such a clever idea. If we are worried, upset, lonely or angry, the best thing to do is to talk to someone about it – whether that is your mother or father, a teacher or even a friend.
I know that in your school, you have been working on a project to spread a little kindness and I think this is such a great thing to be doing.
If you see someone who you think might need help, try to be kind to them. Keep a lookout for them if they are on their own or seem sad or worried. Perhaps they just need a hug or someone to talk to.
I know it is hard if you’re feeling down yourself. But helping someone out will also make you feel so much better, too.
My parents taught me the importance of qualities like kindness, respect and honesty, and I realise how central values like these have been to me throughout my life. That is why William and I, as parents, want to teach our little children, George and Charlotte, just how important these things are as they grow up.
In my view, it is just as important as excelling at maths or sport.
Now, I am very excited to be presenting the Kindness Cup and hearing your stories. Do remember that even if you don’t win here today, the fact that you are helping make your school such a supportive and friendly place is so important. You should all be very proud of yourselves and of each other.
Thank you so much for having me here.