The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, has penned an article for The Huffington Post UK to kick off their Young Minds Matter campaign in which she discusses the campaign and how she and Prince William want to encourage Prince George and Princess Charlotte to talk about their feelings.
I’m breaking up my coverage of today’s events into multiple articles, this one here is just about Kate’s HuffPo article. I will cover everything else, including info on the above photo, later.
In the interest of space, I’m not quoting the whole article (I trimmed out a greeting and a paragraph about other stories people wrote for the campaign). Kate wrote:
“Shortly after I got married, I started working with charities helping those affected by issues such as addiction, family breakdown and vulnerable children. As was to be expected, I often heard some heart-breaking stories about lives that had been torn apart, with devastating impacts for all involved, particularly children.
“What I did not expect was to see that time and time again, the issues that led people to addiction and destructive decision making seemed to almost always stem from unresolved childhood challenges. It became clear to me that many children – even those younger than five – have to deal with complex problems without the emotional resilience, language or confidence to ask for help. And it was also clear that with mental health problems still being such a taboo, many adults are often too afraid to ask for help for the children in their care. […]
“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. Research published today by the Huffington Post indicates that around a third of parents still worry that they will look like a bad mother or father if their child has a mental health problem. Parenting is hard enough without letting prejudices stop us from asking for the help we need for ourselves and our children.
“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. […]
“I am so grateful to all those who have participated in this series and to all those who will contribute after today. I am also hugely grateful to all of you who will take the time to read, to watch, and to listen to these stories. Together, we have the chance to make a real difference for an entire generation of young children.”
I was expecting to do a whole big breakdown of what Kate wrote, but honestly, I don’t have much to say. Kate didn’t say much in depth about anything so I don’t have a strong opinion on her article – whereas I read another article from the Young Minds Matter series which I had a very strong reaction to which I may or may not rant about later.
The only thing I can really say is that I still have no idea why Kate decided to support children’s mental health. I was hoping she would go in depth about why she chose this cause to support, and she didn’t. Just because one hears stories and realizes that problems in adulthood often stem from problems in childhood doesn’t mean one would be driven to care and champion children’s mental health.
Maybe that really is the only reason Kate has/needed to care enough about the cause in order to support it, but it doesn’t seem like enough for me (because why this cause and not all the other causes she hears about?) and doesn’t explain why Kate chose 2015 to start supporting it. She was “working with charities helping those affected by addiction, family breakdown and vulnerable children” back in 2012/2013 and didn’t really start caring about children’s mental health until fall 2015. That seems like a long time between seeing that adult problems stem from childhood issues and taking action to support children’s mental health.
But that’s just me. I have suffered from depression for a very long time; the mental health cause is one I have a very emotional tie with, but maybe Kate doesn’t. Maybe Kate doesn’t need an emotional connection to support this cause. But as someone who suffers from depression, which started when I was about 7 (so yes, my adulthood problems stem from childhood), I just can’t connect to a champion of children’s mental health who doesn’t give me anything to connect to (emotionally or intellectually). It’s a bummer, but that’s all I can say at this time.
I’ll have more coverage of Kate’s guest editor stint later.
Here’s something I can say that’s positive: At least Kate wrote (“wrote”?) something. This article is more than Kate has done for any of her charities (aside from her little video messages) before, so that’s good.
112 thoughts on “Kate Middleton writes article about children’s mental health for Huffington Post UK”
Shortly after I got married I started working……Really? I think she comes over as vapid, with no obvious reason for her focus, just lots of buzz words. I’m not overly impressed with the HuffPo stuff today – I am no expert and I can’t see any real structure, the various articles just seem to bounce around what is a huge topic. Hoping to learn something, I just find I am confused and don’t really know that people are suggesting should be done. Throw a few big names in, mix well and hope it looks impressive.
Perhaps I am being unfair and those with more knowledge can let me know if this is actually achieving anything.
If she wanted to mention the time frame from when she started to work with her charities,she could’ve started off by saying “In 2011….”
For me “shortly after I got married…”seems a bit of an odd,unpolished begginning.At least she took the initiative to write an article.Hopefully more articles and speeches in future.You know what they say “Practice makes perfect”.
More articles, more in depth, more information. It’s the first article like this she’s ever written, so… She needs to write more and get better each time.
I know right. That line made me snort because it’s so wrong. I was thinking, “Almost a year is ‘shortly after marriage'”?
I haven’t read all of the other articles, but the ones I’ve read I have not been too impressed with.
I also found that expression fascinating, mainly because Kate has a different perception of ‘shortly’ than the rest of us, however she was right when she said she would like to make a ‘small difference’ in her engagement interview.
What I find even more interesting is the KP tweeted a few days ago: “The Duchess has been publicly involved in #ChildrensMentalHealth since she became Royal Patron of @Place2Be in 2013“. – So what is the truth?
It was an expected start. Expectations brought right down again.
The whole thing read as very vague with broad strokes. I get she’s talking about mental health, but not much else. This feels like she was told to care. Otherwise wouldn’t she have added a patronage on this? Certainly have added it before her sailing patronage?
Great comment. I too am confused as to what they are trying to make a point at here and what any of this actually has to do with educating the public on mental illness and addiction or why she chose this cause. Fluff, fluff, fluff. Is all I hear. I got from her article that she hears sad stories and then gets to go home to her country estate, feel sorry for them, where she then spends all her time hiding out, burying her head, practicing fake smiles in the mirror. Only an hour or two months and years apart will be the amount of time Kate actually spends at any mental health or addiction facility and spending 10 minutes with one actual child or addict. Throw in a ball/ charity event eventually down the road and a brand new bespoke gown for some £££’s to be made, Kate’s done her part. Watch and see.
Well, speaking for myself I think it was a total yada yada yada speech. I, too, suffer from severe depression and I resent her speaking about it at all. To me she comes off as shallow and trite. Interesting her comment about her surprise at how mental illness can come about from unresolved childhood issues. Seriously? Where does she think it comes from. A bug bite? However, I also get the vibe that while she speaks of childhood issues that she is indeed implying that parents are to blame. She really needs to expand this to include genetics, unknown causes, and etc. and does she really believe that we buy into this ‘encouraging George and Charlotte to talk about their feelings’? Maybe. OK, so she’s doing something but I for one am not impressed since I don’t believe for a moment that she cares. In fact, I can almost hear her thinking that George and Charlotte are immune and dancing around the ‘stigma’ issue. There has been a whole lot done by a whole lot of people to demolish the ‘stigma’ and a whole lot of parents who suffer horrendous guilt over anything that happens to their children. I have a ‘special needs’ son who came into the world that way, so he was having ‘issues’ before I had a chance to mess him up. But the guilt I felt nearly destroyed me. Well, since very few people take her seriously in my opinion she’s just another ‘celeb’ using children. And I know I can’t go too far down this road but the Middletons are hardly a testimonial to good mental health as adults let alone the ‘happy healthy awesome childhood’ line. This is just my own personal opinion. I know things, and I paid an extremely high price for the knowledge.
“Interesting her comment about her surprise at how mental illness can come about from unresolved childhood issues. Seriously? Where does she think it comes from. A bug bite?”
I mean, she could have thought problems in adulthood stemmed from experiences in adulthood. Maybe she knew there were causes to addiction and psychological illnesses but did not realize that the causes don’t always start in adulthood.
Sorry for the rant KMR. She just gets under my skin and yes, her thinking could be just as you said. I think though that a
‘bad childhood’ is the default reason for almost everything so I guess that’s what surprised me. I really don’t see her all that interested but if she were, if she did some research, if she studied this might very well be an area where she might be able to do some good, if for no other reason than a lot of her ‘fans’ are young. I wrote my comment then had to leave for a bit and I kept thinking…what is this woman’s passion, where can she be of true help. Scary that I gave a thought to this but mental illness/addiction is personal to me. Again, sorry for the rant.
The only thing I’ve ever seen Kate even remotely passionate about is sports. I really don’t understand why they don’t have her be involved with children’s sports charities.
And the Royals don’t have the best track record for their mentally ill family members. Prince John anyone? Charlotte and George are perfect little snowflakes to Kate and will never suffer stigma of any kind. She’s just using a cheap emotional trick to curry favor with the peasants.
“…how she and Prince William want to encourage Prince George and Princess Charlotte to talk about their feelings”.
It’s funny when I read the above I immediately thought “has William ever talked about his feelings with Kate?” Because I see William as a walking and talking poster child for when feelings of resentment and anger get bottled up and are not let out in a productive way. Anyway, KMR, if you’re looking for Kate’s inspiration for supporting children’s health, there’s her reason. It starts with a W and ends with illiam. I’m not saying saying Will has mental health issues. I’m saying that’s a guy who’s lost himself in his resentment and is perpetually living the “woe is me” and “me against the world” mindset.
I know, right. The Windsors aren’t exactly paragons of emotional therapy.
Williams seems to be a person so busy and lost in guarding his privacy that he can’t enjoy his life. Greta Garbo-ish. I am a pharmacist by education and trade and I turn my clinical self “on” and “off” automatically when I work, am asked questions, stopped in the aisle at Target and shown someone’s netherregions and asked for an OTC recommendation (seriously, this happens all the time…people have no shame when they have an itch or an infection)…so, I am a public telephone of information regularly. HOWEVER, I have six wonderful kids and an adorable husband that don’t care what I do for a living…they want dinner, and clean underwear and a hug. They don’t care that someone yelled at me, or a MD hung up on me, or a patient called me stupid. So, I put my professional life in a box on a shelf when I get home and vice versa when I go to work with my personal life. THE TWO RARELY MEET. So, poor William needs to know how to put on his “game/fame face” and play the game just like everyone else who works (especially since he is living on the dole) and fill up his calendar and work and stop pouting. Sorry for the rant, but you can shove as much publicity about how they really are relating to the general public, but they are privileged, lazy, emotionally-disconnected, spoiled toddlers.
William complains a lot but he has no idea what it’s really like to be “normal” like he claims he wants to be. He would never survive if he had to truly work a normal job and live like a normal person.
This really made me laugh. When you read about other people on KMR, it is clear how busy people are every day with their professional lives, family and charity work. I am sure this is part of why so many of us shake our heads at W&K on a semi-regular basis.
Kate can’t say why she supports this, because the answer is she was told to by staff/advisers.
Buzzword buzzword, William, George, Charlotte, buzzword, buzzword.
It’s just skimming the topic, imho. Where’s the meat? What of that will resonate with people who are the very ones that need reaching?
There is no depth. Oh and she dressed in a sheer blouse, short skirt & big hair.
Buzzword buzzword is how I see the conversation around feminism. It’s all just buzzword talk and no action to actually change anything. Reading that we should change something doesn’t do much to actually change anything. There is no meat to Kate’s words at all. Just surface level buzzword talk.
Well, she’s still learning, don’t ya know? The pics at KP all have her looking like she’s ‘learning’.
I think this all is about her being a cheerleader, pom poms and all, for mental health, not a leader. She looks really uncomfortable, especially around the kiddies, hands clenched together in a sitting crotch clutch. She’s merely decoration.
Oh, and she had to throw in the essential “William and I” because without him she’s nothing.
The ‘William and I’ here doesn’t bother me – I think it would read strangely if she said that she hoped to raise her children to discuss their feelings. Then people would say that Wiliam didn’t care about his children’s feelings or that W/K were on the outs…..that is a lose/lose.
I agree. She was talking about their kids and how they want to parent, so mentioning both her and William was appropriate here. It wasn’t on the other occasions she’s done it,, but it makes sense here.
It does if you understand the position she’s been groomed to do. She is there to do a simple thing: support William. If one pays enough attention to their PR you have come face to face with expressions like ‘William has been supporting Mental Health through his wife’s work’, the same has happened with Harry and wounded vets – Harry and Kate do the work William takes the credit. [after all he has such a hard life – sarcasm ]
I think it would be great to share opinions, support and work with your husband, even more so in a royal position, however there has to actually be a connection between the couple and the cause they are said to be invested in.
Pure unadulterated fluff piece. Just a bunch of platitudes and buzzwords written from 32,000 feet above by someone who has no meaningful connection to this emotionally charged and sensitive issue.
Spare us the BS that you “took on this work” because you didn’t. It was shoved down your throat by your PR team and you had no choice and no voice.
Those manic grins—I am convinced they are nervous tics to cover up her discomfort.
The grin looks manic because i’s not natural. It messes with our brains because what we see is wrong somehow so we go to lengths to justify it.
Kate has the same smile as she’s always had in more relaxed settings. What has changed is… Nose job, weight loss, age, veneers, botox to name off the top.
She’s shown nerves before. I don’t see that here.
We need tips, plain advise on what to do to help our kids, and to help other people kids.
What to look out for? Alarming signs.
Where to get advice?
What to say to the child to start a conversation about it?
What to do with school/college if you have concerns?
Proper advise to get results, not just airyfairy featherystrokey nonsense.
I quite agree-I didn’t read any psychologists or psychiatrists advice on how us individuals can help those suffering from mental illness.
I think she’s just focusing on reducing the stigma surrounding those suffering from mental problems.While that’s definitely imp. too,some articles offering professional advice are also required.
Excellent tips JL in England. The actual “meat” of the subject.
Just to snark too, I’m loving her interpretation of ordinary everyday office wear – a new designer skirt!! Today would have been an ideal day for smart trousers and flat shoes.
She wouldn’t be able to flash her thighs at the children then….
Flashing to kids cannot be good for their mental health (sorry – that is a joke, not meant to be in bad taste.)
LOL. This is her theme dressing again. That skirt is way short! Why am I still surprised? Expensive new clothes again? Of course!
Way too short skirt. At least, teamed with black tights, but yikes.
Then, a semi-prim blouse. Truly, it should not be all about the clothing, but with Kate everything she does is so (pardon me) half-assed. Nobody ever looks at the total picture and advises in a sensible, dignified manner.
What she wrote? Not much substance there. Ok, so she and William won’t hesitate to seek help if their children have issues they need to discuss. Well, what about W and K? To me, like others, they are carrying so much emotional damage from their early years and so, if that is carrying over into their adult lives, cannot a parallel be drawn? Maybe, they want people to know that adults can and should seek assistance, too? I guess that would be too much to admit.
So, the big day is here for the Guest Editor. Are their awards that go out in the journalism world for such gigs?
P.S. She looks so much like Karen Allen in Raiders of the Lost Ark in the photo that I need to rent the film again just to see if I am having total recall, or not.
“She looks so much like Karen Allen in Raiders of the Lost Ark”
OMG she does!!!
She seemed to be going for the sexy librarian uniform. I have a feeling Bex had to whip the tortoiseshell reading glasses off her face seconds before entering the office, so Kate wouldn’t have a chance to grab them back! Wonder if they were on a chain? That would have been funny, actually.
smart trousers? does she own any pants other than her painted on jeans? a businesslike pant suit would have been perfect for today.
She wouldn’t know a businesslike outfit if it hit her on the head. This woman never had a real job.
I was wondering what her interpretation of business wear would be, interesting that it’s short skirt and sheer blouse.
” I had a very strong reaction to which I may or may not rant about later.” – please do rant let’s take this opportunity to vent, from what I’ve read here, this blog has become a safe heaven for all of us who have issues or simply want to left a nice word of encouragement and strength, so talking about it might help 🙂
I’m fighting depression and through some tough looking back I realised it started as a kid, as well, so I’m glad #youngmindsmatter is trending and people are discussing it.
I also don’t think we know why Kate is supporting mental health, but I only got a problem with that because Kensington Palace made the whole thing “read this article to know why she does this”, and once again, Imo, she didn’t deliver a good reason.
Let me be clear: I don’t think one needs a especial connection to a cause to support it, however I always had a very strong feeling towards helping others regardless of their problems, but Kate does not seem to have that.
That’s why is so difficult for me to believe in her/her team. Imo she needed to choose something to support after her marriage and because she didn’t spend much time knowing who she is and what cause(s) her heart feels really connected with, charities involving kids were a safe bet, everyone loves kids.
I find odd this sudden interest, none the less she/they have made it clear that George and Charlotte are the great impulses they needed to invest on Children Mental Health – so maybe that is all there is.
To me, supporting a cause and being the champion/leader of that cause are two different things. I can support all sorts of causes which I think are important, but I can’t sit here and talk about #BlackLivesMatter with any authority because I’m white and I have never experienced racism in that way. In the same way I would side-eye any man who were to sit there and explain feminism to me, because that man has never experienced what it’s like to experience misogyny. But I can support the #BlackLivesMatter movement just as a man can support feminism.
So when Kate is supposed to be the champion leading the conversation about children’s mental health but can’t speak to any sort of experience with children’s mental illness or any scientific/medical knowledge of psychology, I’m thinking: “Why should I listen to you, what do you bring to the table?” And the answer here is name recognition. That’s all Kate brings to the conversation. To me, that’s not a leader of a cause.
Does that make sense?
And the name Middleton/Windsor does not bring thoughts of any particular depth, or connection with the real world. I think I might be too invested in this and too angry to make any further comment. Way to close to home. So I’ll just read others comments here.
It is after midnight here and I am typing this in bed. I will comment more tomorrow but for those who want to see more pics go to Duchess of Cambridge news and style on Facebook. Lots of pics there to comment on.
I’ll have pics from the event in a later post.
Vastly underwhelmed by her contribution thus far. As Birdy said, that shortly after marriage/working line was a doozy. That one line killed my interest in anything else she had to say in her little greeting. I did read all of it any way and came away with nothing but William and I (again can’t do anything on her own) and a mention of George and Kate.
Didn’t like the outfit, the Chris Jackson photos I’ve seen are coming off to me as her playing to his camera.
I’m just not impressed. Silly me, I expected more. Very disappointed in her.
I asked a Royal photographer on twitter if it was just Chris Jack today.
That is not a surprise, Richard Palmer has said the last events have a high restrictive access. From what I’ve seen on twitter Victoria Arbiter and Rebecca English were the only reporters there. Does anyone think there is a correlation between photographers and reporters allowed with the sugary articles/content they produce? 😉
Victoria Arbiter is based in NYC, I think she’s rewording various tweets as her own (fair enough)
Chris Jack will be there because of Tash, and because he heavily filters/photoshops his images so she looks less haggard. History will not reflect her true image.
Victoria Arbiter lives in NYC and was not there.
As JL said, Chris Jackson is there because he’s still with Tash.
JL and KMR about Victoria Arbiter, thank you I didn’t noticed. From the pics she was using on twitter I assumed she was there and now that I’ve checked it again I saw the “press association” waterline. thanks for the correction.
“Didn’t like the outfit, the Chris Jackson photos I’ve seen are coming off to me as her playing to his camera.”
Oh I so agree, Kate is always playing to the camera and as Chris Jackson takes good photos of her then I’d say she was doing it even more so.
@KMR-She mentioned in the speech that she gave at the “My Head is too Full” conference,I quote “I know that I was lucky.My parents and teachers provided me with a wonderful and secure childhood,where I knew I was always valued,loved and listened to”.
So from what I understand this issue struck a chord with her due to the stark diff. she sees b/w the childhood of most of those who suffer from mental issues and her own.
Also,there are some things that one naturally possess a greater interest in,maybe this is one of them for Catherine.
“I know that I was lucky.My parents and teachers provided me with a wonderful and secure childhood,where I knew I was always valued,loved and listened to”.
She’s a walking ball of coddled narcissism and dysfunction, and has never grown up. She doesn’t know the meaning of what constitutes good mental health or a healthy upbringing. And that one sentence shows her total, irresponsible ignorance vis a vis the complex and dynamic roots of mental illness not to mention her perceived superiority to others- the perfect childhood.
The quote explains where her sympathy for the cause comes from.I agree it doesn’t show her understanding of good mental health.I was just
now thinking about the complex and dynamic roots of mental illness.Take
schizophrenia for example,in most of the cases its genetic.
You mention her “percieved superiority to others-the perfect childhood” b/c of that quote.Well,if you compare her childhood to the childhood of someone who suffered a mental disorder,then her childhood was more superior.I don’t sense any arrogance in her comment.
“Well,if you compare her childhood to the childhood of someone who suffered a mental disorder,then her childhood was more superior.”
Actually, she was talking about the environment she was raised in. Disturbed children don’t necessarily come from bad homes. This is exactly what she is touting, and what your comment suggests. It’s aggravating to me, because it is *wrong* and damaging. The comparison is fallacious.
When I said that her childhood was superior-I was referring to her childhood being superior in terms of inner peace and contenment.
But why this cause? Sure, stark difference between her life and the lives of others, but why did children’s mental illness hit home for her whereas something like children’s hospice care didn’t? Those children who suffer from life limiting disabilities are vastly different from her own childhood, too. Why did she settle on children’s mental health over all the other causes whose sufferers have starkly different lives from her own? What specifically about children’s mental health struck a cord with her?
There has to be something specific about this cause that drew her in where all the other causes didn’t. Does that make sense?
Yup, totally. My first sister (Mel, the one I mentioned in the Victoria post) is now going to school to become a nurse. Specifically, she wants to work with terminally ill children and perhaps those in the pediatric transplant field. Why? Because she feels she would bring a unique perspective as a nurse, since she is the sibling of a “sick kid” and got to know the inside of various hospitals (one in particular, my former transplant center, haha! 😉 ) quite well when we were growing up. She has that insight and understanding that most nurses don’t have and if she’s ever stuck, guess which expert she can turn to? Yup, me.
I am curious as to what drew Kate to children’s mental health/illness, especially since it appears to be so out-of-the-blue. Something had draw her attention to it but the question is, what? And why now?
That’s an amazing area to enter into. And inside perspectives are always welcome.They’re important.
Many nurses i’ve met (being a nurse myself) got into their chosen fields because of similar drive from childhood. Not all discuss it though. That’s what i’ve found at least.
Point stands though. She has kids, heard stories years ago. Got approached by huffpo via her pr office. And now she finds this issue 1 she’s always cared about?
There’s nothing here, but vague statements. And nothing built off of it.
That’s awesome that your sister is becoming a nurse. And yes, she definitely has a different perspective than most nurses.
IIRC, wasn’t Kate sickly as a child? As in very ill in early childhood? If that’s the case children’s hospice is something she could actually identify with & speak on w/authority. She may even gain some respect
Instead she chooses a cause that she claims hasn’t affected her & while her intentions may be good, the delivery sucks. I read the first 3 articles & had to stop when I read an article that basically echoed the misinformation from Kate’s speech that children in un happy homes have MH issues.
K & W are useless. They should both get to a CoDependant Anonymous meeting and stop hurting rather than trying to help any of their causes du jour.
Was it the one about how important families are? I read one that was all “most people with mental illnesses had terrible family lives” and put down single mothers as not caring enough about their kids because they have to do all the financial support for the household. Granted my single mother was terrible and I suffer from depression, so I don’t have any anecdotal evidence t the contrary, but still. That one bothered me.
That’s the one. Ugh.
I just remember seeing pictures of Kate where she looked sickly as a child but nothing has ever really been confirmed.
I believe you’re right. Had read a DM article about a childhood operation but it’s possible that it was an exuse to explain the wiglet scar.
Can’t recall where I read about Kate’s being ill but in some childhood photos she doesn’t look healthy at all.
Interesting that the Daily Mail hasn’t covered any of this… Yet, maybe… Or will it be at all?
It’s up now, no comments though.
Do you have the link Jen? I just looked at the DM online site and can’t find it.
Thanks Jen!! it says that she spent “around a half hour” in the news room?? Kind of disappointed that she spends so little time on a cause that she’s so “keen” on.
Interesting though that it’s not one if their journalists or one of their pieces but articles from a media press pool, the Associated Press and Reuters. For a Kate piece that’s rather unusual from their side to soley use articles from the press pool.
Gosh, a whole half hour… I recall it being billed as a day. To be expected. Lauri, your proposed 2-hour stint at work would be considered, whoa, excessive by Kate’s standards.
And Gie – yes, I wondered about the press pool approach from DM, thinking it was because they wanted to downplay the HP connection.
Has a helicopter been spotted to whisk her home? After her hard hour of work – half an hour in the newsroom ( set up at great expense) half an hour with her pet photographer, then jump in a Helicopter .
Good day at the office.
Hmm… it’s as expected though I hoped for more grunt. Like Tanya S, it is well after midnight here, but initial impressions:
• The structure of this exercise is not helpful. The six articles, bookended by Kate and Louise Ridley, are similarly anecedotal, backed up with statistics from various bodies. That’s sets the scene but then falls short in not providing resources for parents, teachers and children to seek. Setting up a dedicated site that gives more detailed information about a number of various organisations regional centres, symptoms to look out for would be helpful. Also grouping the above in terms of age would be helpful. One article talks of reflective parenting but rather than linking to a site, a reader will need to buy the author’s book (link helpfully provided).
• Unnecessary pictures of Kate littered throughout the blog; one would have sufficed, just for her introduction.
• “Shortly after I got married I started working…” : what – apart from her 1 hour visits – comprises ‘work’ in this field? And how many of the 1 hour visits has she done since shortly after she married?
• Weaving its way through several articles are obsequious references to Kate which gives the impression that this is a PR exercise masquerading as concern for mental health.
• Too many buzzwords and not enough substance.
• Removing stigma is one step but only one of many.
• Facebook page: We expected pictures around a table, but it would have been interesting to hear from those contributing, even short videos, and also the children. Actually, a little video documenting the whole process and not about Kate would have been good. What did the children do/say? Too many pictures of Kate, Kate, Kate… I see she was standing in the funny Pippa pose with feet crossed.
I agree with yuhkiminamitani’s take that when one thinks of William, a person unable to deal with his issues effectively comes to mind. The advice to Kate and the rest of the RF is: look in your own backyard first.
Go onto Kensington Twitter, there are videos of the children and the head of the Art Room. The one with the kids was most informative.
Agree with everything you have said here.
Many thanks for the assessment.
It is a good start for Kate and judging by the pictures so far, she seems actually enthused about this work event. As again, her take on a professional outfit was inappropriate but what can one expect from a 34 year old woman whose only notable work pre-marriage was to be the girlfriend on-call.
For those who are actually looking for information on types of children mental health and what signs to watch for, there is a Canadian organization called, “Hincks-Delcrest” (in Toronto). They have resources on their website, divided by age group called the “ABC of Mental Health”. It’s worth a read.
As a parent to a toddler, I have read some of their resources in order to educate myself in the event should something happen to my son. Again, prevention is better than the cure 🙂
I agree it’s a good start in the right direction. In my own experience when I have wanted to make major changes in my life, I have had to take small (and what might seem insignificant to others) steps at a time. When the level and amount of change that needs to be made is overwhelming, the only way to do it is in small bite sized chunks. As the saying goes ‘from little things big things grow’, and let’s hope this is the situation with Kate.
I agree. What I don’t agree are those affirmations about how her impact is “huge” and she’s a “pioneer” from the press and people around her. They are not doing any good because they are not making a evolved image of the efforts Kate has done, it’s just hype. I personally also try to start small but if people around me start to get too complementary only to make me feel good rather than politely criticize, which would inspire me to do more and better, I get spooked and regress bc I feel I have not done enough to receive those compliments. To someone who has barely worked and fought for herself, like Kate has, this hype and passionate reputation created out of thin air, is going to do more hard than good in the long run. I wish we could strive to built a more realistic world, especially in the press.
I think it was a good thing but I still think Kate could have given more to the cause even if was just her presence on the room supervising or observing the writers work.
Yes, small changes.
You know, Red Tulip, I was prepared to agree with you that this was a good start for Kate but then I read the DM press article that Jen so kindly shared and it stated that the Duchess only spent “around an half hour” at that news conference and wow did my disappointment set in. I’m just stunned that she spends so little time for a cause that according to everyone is so near and dear to her heart. So many people put so much time and effort into this event and for her to spend so little time there just seems rude to me. Sorry about the rant, not directing it at you 🙂
Oh my, I didn’t read the article…only 30mins spent! And was that the entire time that she was there, only 30mins! I feel disappointed tbh.
Well the article said “around..” so it could be 20 minutes, 35 minutes I really don’t know exactly, just disappointed.
I agree. It was in KP and there was no reason to not stay. I am glad that it shed light on the issues, but Kate’s involvement, IMHO, is all fluff.
She spent all of *half an hour*? I’m speechless, moving towards apoplexy. Ye gods!
The meeting (“new conference”) was 30 minutes. I think the entire event (including talking to the kids) was longer than that.
I believe you are right KMR, but if the news conference was only about a half hour, I don’t expect the chat with the children lasted all that long either. It’s probably pretty fair to say Kate was and on in about an hour, to an hour and a half at the most.
Hello! First, I am relatively new to this blog and don’t consider myself a fan or critic of the DOC per se but like using royal watching as a break from reality from time to time. I appreciate how you cover many royals, which must take a lot of time, so thanks for that! I guess for me personally, I interpret the reason for this focus as being the desire to effect change. I think that Kate sees this an area with a stigma surrounding it, a stigma she can help diminish just by being associated with it. And as she said, she has seen through other charity work that by helping people at a young age, society will reap the benefits of having mentally healthier adults. I don’t interpret this as a position that helping adults isn’t important. I’m American as well, and I also wonder if perhaps there is some cultural difference between how appropriate it would be to get very personal in a blog post? Anyways, just my two cents. Also, for what its worth, this seems like a creative way to get focus on information- having the DOC’s name attached to all these blog posts probably brings in more readers than if she hadn’t participated. I think it is a step in the right direction.
You brin up a good point about Stigmas. This is important because so far in her involvement of this she’s promoted at least 1 stigma. That Childhood Mental Illness is a product of poor parenting. Feeding into the argument that wealthy and close families are absent of childhood mental illness. And that’s just incorrect. Also, drawing a class line into it.
And I have a personal peeve that she took this long to suddenly announce she was going to support this issue. Only after HuffPo approached her PR office though. Factor in nothing for actual mental health week. I think she’s either not aware of how hard she should be working to support her pr claims or she’s just not that interested.
At least it’s being discussed.
Sorry- it may be that I haven’t followed this as closely as I should (I admit I skimmed the blog but didn’t read all the articles)- but when did she say that childhood mental illness is a product of poor parenting? I thought her point is that parents shouldn’t be embarrassed to get their kids help because they shouldn’t feel like that? Am I giving her too much credit? And yes of course it is ridiculous to think there is any type of class immunity to this issue- I am sure most readers of this blog know that just isn’t true and that anyone can suffer regardless of how well off financially.
And yes, totally agree that she could do things better and could have addressed this earlier.
Not directly i think. The wording though was dead on to the stigma. That prevention of child mental illness could be avoided from good parenting. Which is only a symptom and not cause.
She made the comments or a statement very recently.
In her speech at a Place2Be conference from last year, Kate said:
“I often get asked why I decided to spend time highlighting the mental health of children. I imagine my answer might be similar to many of yours. I know that I was lucky. My parents and teachers provided me with a wonderful and secure childhood where I always knew I was loved, valued and listened to. But of course many children are not so lucky.”
That quote has been interpreted as her saying that because she had a good childhood she doesn’t suffer mental illness, and that children who “aren’t lucky” and have bad childhoods do. Which does not take into account that people can have a good childhood and still suffer from mental illness.
Whether or not she meant it that way, I don’t know. Either way, it wasn’t as well worded as it could have been.
Hi Heather, welcome!
I get what you mean about American v British in terms of opening up about one’s issues. I’m not expecting Kate to tell us all her secrets, I just want something to connect to. Some reason why this cause is the one that hit home for her where she went, “Yes, that cause is the one I must take on”.
From the article the impression I understand it that Kate is saying the same thing as in her videos. I understand that children are vulnerable as they don’t understand that by telling a trusted adult that it will not solve the issue. However is she blaming the parents here? I can’t tell. I think that children can see, feel and experience things that no one should have to go through. However it doesn’t necessarily start from childhood. Everyone knows Kate is married and to William. Why throw it in there. To be mentally fit you have to be physically fit. Everyone knows that. With Kate’s parents being busy when she was a child was she just given things rather than time with her parents perhaps. William and Harry should have had proper guidance but I doubt had counselling after Diana died. I feel it wrong for Kate to say again how she had a good childhood when it is not about her. Maybe that is just Kate trying to relate to people. If that is the case why not just listen to other people and highlighting the themes that they have been through. I feel Kate could do so much with this charity and the effort to listen and highlight and push for change isn’t there still. William turning up to the canteen highlighted the school without all this talk.
And Kate has repeated the same thing almost word for word that she has before: how mental health concerns in adults almost always result from unresolved childhood challenges. While this may explain some mental health concerns in children, IT IS NOT the totality of all the mental health diagnosis out there. Kate forgets to mention that things like childhood mood disorders like bipolar and schizophrenia almost always have a biological basis. So you can come from a loving family, have supportive adults and live in a financially stable home and still have a mental health concerns if you are genetically vulnerable.
Kate needs to clarify what mental health concerns and treatments and prevention methods she is specifically speaking about, rather than using jargon and blanket terms. She is spreading awareness of the misinformation. I am surprised that Kate is still making this mistake, even after her speech at Place2Be. Does she not get it or doesn’t care to research enough to get it?
Mental health is important and I hope Kate takes this seriously. But I do wonder why she supports it because it’s not like she’s open about these things.
I agree Mental health is important. I hope at least something positive comes from this day that Kate undertook.
N.B.Can someone explain difficult home life. If a child tells the parent how they are feeling surely it is the response they get from the parent. Being told they are unwanted or never appreciated over a period of time can be soul destroying but what if you have a fantastic upbringing and still cannot tell your parents your feelings. I am happy to be wrong. It is just Kate seems to think that difficult children are the reason. Can an easy going child not catch a mental illness?
You can talk about your feelings, have an open relationship and communication with your parents. You can have a good childhood. And with all that you can still have mental illness.
I feel like she’s almost promoting more happy homes and family communication than anything else. You can segway the 2, but not much more.
I think even if your parents are kind to you and raise you well but tell you to keep everything (even your troubles) inside, you will start to break inside because you can’t tell your troubles to the people closest to you.
People can have a troubling experience outside of the family (likely at school).
I think it is important to be understanding and to be open because mental illness is not visible so it is harder for to go through the stigma of not being seen as normal.
I wrote school as an example since we’re talking about children but other things could affect mental health too.
Duchess of Cambridge prove herself to be very keen by resolving the centuries long discussion about the roots of mental problems, known as “nurture visa nature”, and without hesitation pointed at “nurture”. Kudos to our knowledgable princess. She also separated emotional problems from psychiatric problems implying that maniac- depressive problems can be cured by…..who exactly?. I caunted 22 missing comas in her article. How many are missing according to you KMR?
I mean, I prefer the Oxford comma, but in journalism it’s not used. So I understand why she didn’t use it (or her editor removed it if she did).
I think she might have actually written this one herself. With plenty of editing, of course. It’s on par with a typical college paper written by your average sophomore. Boring, pointing out the obvious and a fluff piece in my opinion. I also actually laughed out loud when I read the “shortly after my marriage, I started working…” Too funny. She is out of her league and should probably just stick to being a grinning clothes hanger. Any further efforts to fool the public into believing that she’s anything more than a vapid, spoiled clotheshorse is just going to further embarass the Royal family.
+1, succinctly put Bets
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