Remarks by The Duchess of Cambridge at The Royal Foundation’s ‘Mental Health in Education’ Conference
13 February 2019
I wasn’t actually planning on speaking and…but I did just want to say a few words of reflection after today’s wonderful speakers.
And it’s really so exciting to hear everyone here speaking with your wealth of experience about the importance of mental health and particularly the emotional development of our children and teachers.
What you’ve all been discussing here today really brings to life the vital role that teachers are playing in supporting our youngest children’s mental health.
Thank you all for your dedication to this important cause, whether you work in schools, universities, charities or elsewhere.
Over the last eight years working with charities, I’ve met some of our leading experts in mental health, addiction, family breakdown, homelessness and education.
They have taught me over and over again that the root cause of so many of today’s social problems can be traced right back to the very earliest years of a person’s life and often over generations.
The scientific and other evidence is clear – the first few years of a child’s life are more pivotal for development and for future health and happiness than any other single moment in our lifetime.
It is also clear that the positive development of our children is directly linked to those who care for them, teachers, carers and parents.
And as we have heard today, it is therefore vital that we support teachers with their own wellbeing so that they can provide the best level of care for all children, in their schools and communities in which they work.
No one of us, however, can make a difference alone.
I feel so passionately about working together and being here today has affirmed to me just how much already is being done, so thank you to all of you who are prioritising the importance of mental health and the importance of childhood development as a whole. I look forward to hearing how your discussions will lead to proactive steps and to an ever more resounding commitment to mentally healthy schools, teachers and children.