Kate Middleton has become patron of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (Picture: PA)
The Duchess of Cambridge has said no mum is ‘immune to experiencing anxiety and depression’ and has said it is crucial those who are ‘struggling’ get the support they need.
Kate said mum’s should be given the ‘right support at the right time’ and urged society to play its part, calling on everyone to help ‘all those who are raising children today’.
The duchess made the comments in a video message recorded to mark her new role as patron of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA).
The MMHA is a UK-wide charity and network of more than 100 organisations, working to ensure women and families affected by perinatal mental health problems have access to high-quality comprehensive care and support.
The news of Kate’s new patronage comes during Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, which ends on Sunday.
The duchess said the message of the week was about the ‘power and importance of connection’.
Referencing how testing the pandemic has been for many she said the last two years had reminded everyone about the role of relationships in long-term health and happiness.
‘We all know that pregnancy, childbirth and the first months and years of a child’s life can be hugely demanding,’ Kate said.
‘Parents often feel lonely and overwhelmed by these early years.
‘Around 20% of women in the UK are reported to experience perinatal mental illness.
‘Sadly, we also know that many more are suffering in silence. No one is immune to experiencing anxiety and depression during this time.
‘It is crucial, therefore, that all those who might be struggling are given the right support at the right time, so that they’re able to share these feelings without fear of judgment and can access the information, care and support they need to recover.’
Kate has made children and early years development one of the focuses of her public life (Picture: PA)
The MMHA’s Everyone’s Business campaign is calling for all women across the UK who experience mental health problems before, during and after pregnancy to get the care and support their families need.
The charity says around one in five women develop a mental health problem during pregnancy or within the early years after having a baby.
It also says the pandemic has increased the risk of new and expectant mums developing a mental health problem, which if untreated can have a devastating impact.
Kate said charities have been working together to raise awareness of the issues faced by mums but added there is ‘plenty more’ to do.
‘Much of this vital work has been led by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, a fantastic organisation of which I am extremely proud to become patron of today,’ she said.
‘There is plenty more to be done. And it’s down to each and every one of us to support parents and carers, and all those who are raising children today.
‘Because by ensuring that the next generation of children can thrive, we can help to build a stronger, healthier and more nurturing society which benefits us all.’
Kate has made the early years development of children one of the main pillars of her public role and her latest patronage complements the work she is trying to do through her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.
Luciana Berger, chair of the MMHA which was founded in 2011, said the alliance was ‘honoured’ Kate had become its patron.
‘The duchess’s longstanding dedication to the early years and keen interest in mental health marry beautifully with the alliance’s mission to ensure every mum, baby and family affected by perinatal mental health problems can access the right care and support necessary,’ she said.
‘We look forward to working with the duchess to make this goal a reality for all.’
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