The Duchess of Cambridge has launched ‘You’re never too young to talk mental health’ in a joint campaign with the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.
The centre is providing all primary schools with free teaching materials hoping to arm children with life-long skills to help them talk about ‘big’ and ‘small’ feelings and how to listen to their friends.
The campaign has published a leaflet to help parents and carers start conversations with their children about mental health and features an introduction from HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge said: “As parents, we all want our children to have the best possible start in life. Encouraging children to understand and be open about their feelings can give them the skills to cope with the ups and downs that life will throw at them as they grow up.
“It’s important that our children understand that emotions are normal, and that they have the confidence to ask for help if they are struggling. This is why I am proud to support the You’re never too young to talkmental health campaign by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, which is being rolled out across primary schools this autumn.
“The campaign’s resources are excellent tools to support parents. They demonstrate how we can help children express their feelings, respond appropriately, and prevent small problems from snowballing into bigger ones.”
Professor Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of AFNCFC said: “One of the most effective things we can do is to give children the language they need to discuss mental health and encourage them to have open conversations at home and at school. Helping children identify problems that they or their friends are having is the first step towards resolving those problems. And if we can help children who are struggling with their feelings or experiences, they will be happier and perform better at school.
“We have identified 9-11 year olds because they are at a crucial point in their lives when they are preparing for transition to secondary school and on the cusp of adolescence. With the backing of schools and parents together we can help them manage these and other challenges they face with greater confidence and prevent any problems from escalating.”