LONDON -- The Duchess of Cambridge is trying to shatter the stigma attached to mental health issues as she guest edits an edition of the Huffington Post.
The former Kate Middleton said Wednesday that she and Prince William wouldn't hesitate to seek help if they thought their children, George and Charlotte, needed it. Her comments came as the news website marked the start of a campaign called Young Minds Matter, which raises awareness around mental health in children.
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."
In the article, she called for a change in attitudes toward mental illness, writing:
The mental health of our children must be seen as every bit as important as their physical health. For too long we have been embarrassed to admit when our children need emotional or psychiatric help, worried that the stigma associated with these problems would be detrimental to their futures.
Like most parents today, William and I would not hesitate to seek help for our children if they needed it. We hope to encourage George and Charlotte to speak about their feelings, and to give them the tools and sensitivity to be supportive peers to their friends as they get older. We know there is no shame in a young child struggling with their emotions or suffering from a mental illness.
Of course, for some parents and carers seeking help is not so easy. When families are short of time or money it is not always easy to know where to look for help or advice. That is why we need schools and communities to play their full role to help children who are struggling in ways that are not always easy to see.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama also wrote an article for the site, praising Kate for shining "a bright light on mental health, particularly children's mental health, and on the tens of millions of people who suffer in silence."