Prince William and Kate Middleton to expand their mental health focus to suicide prevention

Prince William and Kate Middleton to expand their mental health focus to suicide prevention

This past week, while everything happened with Crown Princess Victoria giving birth to her son, Prince Oscar, two more engagements were announced for Prince William and Kate Middleton, and one more for Prince Harry. I’m thinking Oscar’s first photos will not be released until Monday, so this is just a really quick update post for the Cambridges and Harry’s schedules (which ended up being longer and more rant-y than I expected; sorry).

William and Kate at the 2015 Commonwealth Day Service

On Monday, March 14, William, Kate, and Harry will join the Queen and Prince Philip for the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey.

We already knew about William and Kate’s planned XLP visit on March 11, but they will now have an engagement on Thursday, March 10, as well. William and Kate “will carry out a series of public and private engagements focusing on efforts to prevent suicide and to support those bereaved by suicide” including meeting with Jonny Benjamin who tried to commit suicide in 2008 but was saved by a stranger and is now an activist for mental health.

More from Majesty magazine Facebook:

    “The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry are making mental health a major focus of their work in the year ahead. The Duke of Cambridge is particularly keen to better understand the difficult issues around suicide, bullying, and the mental health of young men. These are issues he has been exposed to both in his official work with homelessness charities and in his work as an air ambulance pilot.
    “The public engagements on 10th March will focus on the inspiring story of Jonny Benjamin. Jonny’s life was saved by a stranger in 2008 as he contemplated taking his own life. After receiving help, Jonny launched a social media campaign called ‪#‎FindMike‬ six years later, together with the charity Rethink Mental Illness, to find the man who saved him in order to offer his thanks. The campaign succeeded and Jonny was reunited with not a Mike, but Neil Laybourn.
    “Jonny believes that if he had received help for his mental health challenges earlier in life he would not have reached his crisis point. He has gone on to work together to promote mental health awareness in schools through the Thinkwell workshop. His aim is to break the stigma associated with mental health and put mental health education on the national curriculum.
    “On 10th March, the Duke and Duchess will meet Jonny and Neil at St Thomas’ Hospital in London where Jonny was sectioned immediately after his near suicide. They will then travel to Kensington Palace where they will drop in on a screening of a documentary about Jonny’s experience and the #FindMike campaign. Jonny regularly attends screenings with young people as a way to encourage open discussion of mental health issues.
    “Around 20 young people from a South London school will be invited to watch the screening at Kensington Palace and then take part in a discussion, led by Jonny, Neil and Rethink Mental Illness. The children taking part in the session are from a school where Jonny has previously delivered his ThinkWell project.
    “Following, this session, Their Royal Highnesses will join a private discussion with a group who have been bereaved in various ways by suicide to discuss their experiences and the support they have received since.
    “The rest of the day’s programme will be private.”

I’ve spoken briefly before about my thoughts on the conversation around suicide, and we’ve discussed in the comments how the words used to discuss mental illness in general need to be very precise, so I’ll be interested in how this event is discussed, what William and Kate say, and what Jonny Benjamin says. Until then, I’ll reserve judgement on this event.

But I do want to bring up something that has been bothering me for a few weeks now. I’m just going to write out my thoughts to get them out so I don’t go into this March 10th visit negatively (so feel free to skip the following if you want, it’s just me rambling).

Something that is bothering me more and more about William and Kate’s association with mental health awareness (which is not a criticism of them at all, just to be clear), is that the more “mental health” is discussed the less I understand what exactly is the goal of the discussion.

What does “mental health issues” mean – there are many mental illnesses, they are varied, and the treatment for them is varied, so what exactly are we talking about (I bring up depression because that’s what I have experience with, but I don’t know if that’s what they’re talking about, so maybe my thoughts on “mental health” are not applicable to this discussion)? What does “break/end the stigma” mean – how exactly is this being accomplished? What is being accomplished by this discussion as a whole – is there a way to measure society’s views on mental health, is this discussion changing society’s views on mental health at large, are there individuals seeking help now who weren’t before this discussion, are there individuals offering help to loved ones who weren’t before this discussion, is there really any way to measure the accomplishments of this discussion or is it something vague and not wholly defined that people still don’t fully grasp? Is the stigma around mental health and illness still there because this conversation is so vague and ill-defined?

It’s not that I think mental health isn’t an important issue (because I do), or that I think sharing our experiences doesn’t help (because it does – seriously, you guys have helped me a lot), it’s just that aside from the sharing of our experiences here on this blog the entire conversation around mental health, which has been spurred by William and Kate’s involvement, seems to be very vague.

Since I honestly do not know anyone in the real world who follows the royals, I’m wondering how much of an impact this discussion is having. How many people who don’t already follow the royals are really being reached? Take out the royal involvement: how many people who weren’t already looking for information on mental health and mental illness actually read the Young Minds Matter series on HuffPo UK? This conversation is so vague and buzzword-y that I’m wondering how much of an impact is it really having, what changes is it causing? Am I just not paying enough attention or looking hard enough to find the changes? I don’t know.

No one needs to answer these questions. I wanted to bring this up now, and express my confusion and concerns now, so that these questions don’t negatively color the March 10th visit. I want to express my slight negativity toward the mental health cause now so that I can look at the March 10th visit neutrally. So please don’t yell at me for being negative about this right now. This is not a criticism of William and Kate, it’s just me expressing some thoughts on the mental health conversation as a whole which I don’t want to take into my coverage of this upcoming visit.

197 thoughts on “Prince William and Kate Middleton to expand their mental health focus to suicide prevention

  1. What really upsets me is their lack of compassion. This is all PR. This has nothing to do with suicide or changing the narrative on it or supporting charities. This is for William and Kate to look better.

    I highly doubt their ‘work,’ as one terms it, does very much. It boosts morale for the charities; it could possibly make some news for a few days, so get people talking about it in that manner; but otherwise… nothing. It’s not as if they ever follow through, nor do they have any sense of compassion or empathy. (Harry, of course, does, but it’s not Harry doing any of this, it’s W&K who live in Anmer and never leave.)

    As someone who has struggled with depression, suicide, and the like, it really angers me. I just can’t say much more unless you want an expletive laden rant, so I’ll shut up.

    Edited to add it is just as you say, KMR. Buzzwords. No substance, but these two have no substance. There is no delving into an issue or at least coming back to it in a functional way to truly help, just random visits. So children? Now suicide?

    I know I’ve said this before but I just finished Catherine Mayer’s fantastic biography of Charles. It explains a lot of how decisions are made, and what he does, why he does what he does, and THE FOLLOW UP. How does one gauge royal patronage and royal visits, does it do anything, that sort of thing. And it seems to entirely depend on the royal. Look at Harry’s follow-through with The Invictus Games, it’s become a sensation and he is there every step of the way. W&K are trying to find something popular to latch onto, with no knowledge of the issues at hand nor any attempt at understanding as one can gauge by Kate’s blog post for HuffPo. If they even tried to understand and really communicate with people they meet, it could potentially be a different story.

    1. It certainly feels this way.
      That WK having done little to nothing in this area before suddenly have a passion sparked by HuffPo’s suggestion for this.
      That no follow up is seen. And that No direction comes from this.

      Yes, we understand depression/Mental illness/Suicide in any age group is very tragic. Yes, we understand talking about it and having suppport systems helps. So, are you setting up a support system? Are you developing new, easier ways to reach out? Or is this just to say you are aware of this and think something ought to be done?

      Ugh. I wish something would come from this for the better. Seems it only serves for PR. There’s no goal past that.

  2. I don’t feel that W&K are adding anything concrete. It is as Ellie says all about making them look good, giving them a “cause” that makes them look like serious players. Very little coverage in the UK focuses on anything more profound than what Kate is wearing.
    My very personal opinion is that as Kate is so poor at this Royal work, she should be given a much simpler focus to start with ( am I honestly saying start of someone who has been doing this for years?) while she builds her confidence. Start with sport where her naivety cannot do so much harm if she gets it wrong. To me she doesn’t know what she is doing which is why we just hear buzzwords.
    And suicide – really? This is the point where people feel at the very bottom of the bottom, not a place to be played with. The issues are so complex I think they should stay well clear.

    Anne, Sophie or Camilla – yes because they would prepare and prepare and prepare. These two no.

    Thanks for giving us a reason to let off steam after all the wonderful sugar of the last few posts!

    1. Even with sport it’s all about her. No questions about how the sports programs help the community or perhaps underprivileged children get into sport, but about how she can teach tennis to George and Charlotte. Totally inept.

      1. Haha Ellie you are so right! But I was hoping that with baby steps it would be a better place for her to learn . Also a speech would have a little more enthusiasm?

      2. I noticed that as well with the tennis engagement. It was clear that she enjoyed herself but these official engagements are not about her enjoyment, they are about programs that help other people. Until she starts caring about people other than herself, her husband and her family she won’t be any good – and a cousin of hers once said to the press that Kate find it hard to care about other people as an explanation as to why Kate found small talk hard and why she couldn’t be bothered to RSVP to invitations, etc.

        1. That cousin quote an original article are so tough to find now.
          It’s valid though. When she’s interested you can see it. If she doesn’t care it’s painfully obvious. And that she is poor with small talk in those settings says too much about how little she cares.

          1. The only reason I give her a tiny smidge of slack for the small talk is because I find small talk hard. It makes me a bit anxious. I’m not sure if it’s the introvert in me. But that’s just a personal thing. People tend to think I’m shy because I don’t say much when you first meet me. But once you get to know me, it’s like I’m a totally different person.

          2. I’m not great at small talk either. I never know what to say because “small talk” seems so hollow and I always think I come across as aloof and not interested in the other person. Sometimes I’m not, but even when I am I still like I come across that way.

          3. Miss K. Thank you I had not considered this point of view. I am not good either with small talk and am an introvert. I also have trust issues. I had not thought about the possible implication for Kate. Pippa is certainly the one with the extroverted personality of the two or so it appears. She seems perfectly at ease in any situation.

          4. I acknowledge that small talk can be difficult. However, you can learn a few tricks – like asking people about their lives, families, etc. Generally, people like to talk about themselves. My father gave me that advice when I had trouble with small talk. I worked wonderfully and sometimes I actually learn something interesting.

          5. ArtHistorian I chuckled at this as my father gave me exact same advice. Also his point as he was a private person this would deflect people from asking me personal questions since they loved to talk about themselves. I ‘inherited’ his trust issues LOL. Guess might help in developing better listening skills.

        2. So well said, At Historian.
          Oh, how very sad to think of suicide prevention being turned into a PR coup for W and K. My God. Do Jason and Company have any morals?

          I don’t doubt that William has been moved by much of what he has seen while working as an Air Ambulance Pilot, but to him, it’s a part-time job. Not like the others who work diligently helping others. Still, I salute William for doing what he does.

          But, there is no way I can see W or K making any type of profound impact on mental health issues of any kind . William has to look no further than his late mother for any type of guidance as to what to do, how to do it and how to persevere. Kate? Well, I guess she doesn’t have such a good role-model in her own life. So, perhaps, she could read up on the late Princess Diana. Look, Diana had her problems, but nobody can say she wasn’t tireless in her work for causes that truly won her heart.

    2. “And suicide – really? This is the point where people feel at the very bottom of the bottom, not a place to be played with. The issues are so complex I think they should stay well clear.”

      I agree completely, Birdy. They really have no business playing at being royal with such a serious issue. Imagine kate making a stupid remark- it could possibly send someone over the edge. As others have said, she should focus on sports or something she can’t mess up too badly or hurt someone who is emotionally fragile.

    3. “The issues are so complex I think they should stay well clear.”

      That’s why I’m really interested to see what W&K say about it. Because I have my own clear views on suicide, but there are several ways of looking at it, so I’m wondering what path W&K will take with this.

  3. I think it is okay to wait and see what impact these 3 individuals are going to have. It is so hard to say at this point. I think it is good that they are zeroing in on “something” to make a difference if that is what will be the result. Mental Health Illness as has been indicated is a huge subject area and encompasses so much. And William and Kate are all over the spectrum. Harry thus far has been narrowing his down to the military.

    It would help to know if William and/or Kate have known someone in their personal lives who have experienced mental health issues. Harry of course has due to his military service. There is nothing wrong in being able to admit if any of the 3 have experienced their own. But of course there must be no personal flaws made public according to the BRF. Their learning curve will increase as they attend more and more functions and hopefully their empathy and sympathy will be real and true in the lives of those they encounter. Other than Harry, it is the empathy related to William and Kate one wonders about because we know nothing about how they actually feel by related experiences to people they know personally. (hope I am making some kind of sense). Or by talking to all of these young people are they learning that, too?????

    People who go into mental health careers do so as a result of seeking solutions for their own problems. This is what I have heard about therapists, psychologists, etc. This does not mean they cannot be very good at what they do, just a lot harder to cure oneself.

    I suspect that both William and Harry are far more likely to get it than Kate only because we do know they personally experienced a dysfunctional family via their parents (the marriage) and the sudden traumatic death of their Mum. Since we know very little about Kate’s childhood and teenage years as perhaps related to this subject area how can we ascertain her experience. It will go such a long way to incorporate personal experiences. (all just my opinions).

    1. I think Kate comes from a highly dysfunctional family, too. Didn’t Carole run Kate’s life? Didn’t she push and push and push until the prize *William” was won?

      Perhaps, the two do indeed have an interest in mental health concerns, but I doubt that either has the substance to make a true impact. Their intentions may be good, but do they have the follow-through, the compassion, the grit, to help others?

      And, as KMR said, what exactly does their interest mean and what exactly are they working toward? It is all buzz words. It’s all appearances — short ones — and dressing up and looking as if “we care,” even if they care only a bit.

      Harry seems to have brought his all to the Invictus Games. He has a clear idea of what he hopes to do in order to help others. I guess it is better to spare any criticisms until after the event. But, I truly cannot imagine what impact William and Kate can make. They’d really have to make a solid commitment and work very hard. Do either of them show such potential?

      Birdy is right. Putting Kate into a suicide prevention mode is scary. The woman does not have it in her, imo, to connect with others and understand their pain. It’s all about what she will wear, how many fake smiles she can offer, and oh, yes, how many times she can look as if she is caring about someone besides herself.

      1. She lectured low-income, inner-city kids about why they should turn off the tv and go to the country – because it is so much more fun!

        She failed to understand the point of the charity she was representing. The families can not afford to go to “the country”. Their latch key kids are home after school because the parents are out earning a living. They’re safer inside their homes than outside on the streets in their neighborhoods. The charity gives them their only chance to be out in the countryside while being safely overseen.

        I cannot see W&K’s “involvement” in suicide prevention going any better. Dilettantes causing damage by their lack of understanding and effort.

      2. I agree with you Jenny! I, too, think Kate comes from a highly dysfunctional family. IMO Carole has damaged Kate with her pushing and it is only luck that meant Kate was not down a completely different path with her flashing her private parts during her school years etc.
        I also think that the Middleton family dynamics were shattered once Carole decided to maneuver Kate into William’s path, just who much time and energy has she spent on Pippa and James over the years? Nothing like the time she has singularly invested in Kate?
        As for William? Diana did a lot of good work, look at her work with Aids for example. She was, though, a highly complex person and she was also very manipulative. Diana could work the press to her advantage and did so often. As for the stories of her leaning on William? I do hope that are not true but if they are and she was often in tears, requiring William to be there with a box of tissues then I think that explains some of William’s character today.
        I agree with Birdy and Jenny – Kate doesn’t have it in her, Kate and Suicide Prevention? Not a good mix at all.

        1. Yes, Kate is definitely from a dysfunctional family. Her brother and sister were left high and dry while Carole focused on helping Kate win her prize. Michael just sat by and allowed this to happen! So, yes, I think we should all agree that Kate is from a dysfunctional family.

          On some levels, aren’t we all?

    2. “People who go into mental health careers do so as a result of seeking solutions for their own problems.”

      This is so wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to begin. It may be anecdotal but it doesn’t make it true or significant; show me the stats. I find this beyond reprehensible.

      1. Maven the First. I sincerely apologize for what I have written that has been offensive to you. It is not my intent to be offensive to anyone on this blog. I am so sorry to everyone I may have offended.

        I do come from experiences which led to years of therapy and lots of reading. But expert that does not make me.

        Thank you for pointing this out to me.

      2. If the first statement had read “a few”, this could have been stated by a couple of family members. We have two Ph.D’s in psychology and the one who did a two year post doctoral study in health psychology, has stated a few people manage to enter the field who probably should not be there due to their own issues.

  4. Isn’t totally coincidental that after courageously rescuing this man via EAAA, Will had the epiphany to solve suicide?

    May I add one quick unrelated aside – It is slightly disappointing to see the media let KP sweep lazygate under the carpet so easily.
    Next time Kim Jong Bill rears his ugly head, my sympathy level will be nil.

  5. Oh my… And the PR machine is rollin’…. My impression is that it doesn’t matter what cause they “dedicate” themselves to. As long as they finally show up and as long as the Kate-loonies can talk about her clothes everything’s gonna be alright. As far as I am concerned their message (about whatever) won’t reach me. Why? Because I don’t trust them. I would never ever take the good advice of someone that I can’t take for serious, who doesn’t live up to his own advice, who is more botherd by the perfect wallpaper than his/her actual job. The Fabergé egg-incident was sooo telling. Kate, the art expert asks the Queen in front of the cameras if those eggs are still made!!! OMG! Even I know that they aren’t! And this very same woman is now the royal expert for mental health? She studied art for much longer than “mental health”….

    1. +1. I’m curious as to why they chose mental health and why now? Also, are they focusing on PTSD via the military after service? Depression since childhood? PPD? Mental illness via something you have for years (schizophrenia)? Mental illness due via medication?

      (I’ve had steroid-induced paranoia, and still experience tiny bursts of it every now and then, though I just looked it up and apparently it’s a mental disorder instead of a mental illness–oh goodie (sarcasm).)

      I’m really curious as to what drew them to it. Many of us have arm-chair analyzed William and feel that there is something going on with him but, of course, no one will flat-out admit it. Some also think something is not totally right with Kate but…’s still a head-scratcher to me.

      1. That’s a bigproblem I have with Kate’s approach to children’s mental health so far: what exactly is it she’s talking about? It is true that dysfunctional family situations can cause problems for children but that is not the only aspect of this issue. Yet she doesn’t really say anything concrete. Yes, in some cases it may help to talk about the problems but in other cases other measure need to be taken. Her whole approach is just so vague, like it is lifted out of a PR script – and that’s why she doesn’t really come across as sincere and well-informed, which is crucial in relation to this issue in particular.

        1. Am I correct in my thinking that there are different kinds of mental illness? There’s organic brain conditions (schizophrenia, bipolar, depression) and there are disorders, which are the result of childhood trauma, and then there are cognitive/sensory disorders which are organic in nature. I’m not a professional so I don’t know for sure, but that’s my operating assumption until someone who knows more than I do corrects me. Thank you!

          1. And that my dear Bluhare and by extension KMR and everyone on this blog, is more information to me, a complete ignoramus on the subject of MH, than anything Kate ‘i’ve read scientific papers’ has articulated.

            My take from her is that luck and money are the presiding factors to determine mental health issues later in life.

            And the way she’s articulated ‘luck and money’ has been so poor that i’ve had to rely on internet re-interpretation of the message to understand what she”s trying to convey because otherwise, to follow her reading at face value is to go down a completely wrong path.

          2. Regarding your last paragraph. That people have to parse, interpret (generously or maliciously) the intent of her speeches, op-ed., etc. just shows how poorly she and her team communicate. they can’t get the message across to the public! Most likely because they really don’t know what message they want to communicate – or they don’t care.

            It isn’t just a lack of knowledge, it is also a lack of communication skills.

        2. AH, I doubt whether Kate knows. For over a decade no-one, absolutely no-one has said this woman has worked hard or committed to anything beyond her wants.
          The impression I get is that Kate is prepped to a point, does the engagement, speech, video and then it’s over. If there’s anything else, I’m guessing her staff take care of it and she signs it off.
          I note this latest press release speaks of private discussions once the official part of the engagement is over. I would imagine that W+K will be told more sensitive stories behind closed doors. That’s fine if so, but it’s what they actually DO with that further knowledge is the point. If W+K are just putting their names to others’ hard work to make up their CC numbers and court better publicity, the charity would be better off having someone with more public appeal, work ethic and empathy in their corner.

          1. my interpretation of ‘private talk’ after the public talk, is that the people at the engagement will share private information/stories that can’t be disseminated to the public.

            WK will simply leave when the private talk commences. i strongly doubt that they will stay for that part. Perhaps their teams will. They did the same for her ‘day of blogging’ where it was quite obvious that her blog letter was written by others and uploaded by them, she made an appearance for 45mins and then left. day done. time to shop for her tennis engagement!!!

        3. And in some cases just throwing drugs at the problem don’t solve anything. My doctors kept upping my dosage of anti-depressants but they never did anything to help me, so eventually I stopped taking them.

          1. You and me both. I was given a very high dose of Prozac as a teenager. It really messed me up. This was before studies showed it caused teenagers to have worse depression and suicidal tendencies. I felt so much better when I stopped taking it.

      2. That’s what I want to know: What exactly are they focusing on and why.

    2. Again with the Faberge egg thing… Just because Kate has a degree in the history of art doesn’t mean she studied early 20th century Russian art. I have a degree in history but that doesn’t mean I know a thing about 14th century Chinese history. That was not my area. Maybe early 20th century Russian art was not Kate’s area.

      1. Actually, Faberge eggs are a pop cultural phenomenon that have made their way into common language usage as a symbol of Russian Imperial wealth and extravagance.

        I’ve probably over complicated the explanation already since most people generally understand that they come from Russia and represent fabulous wealth and no more than that.

        I also doubt that most people know exactly what a faberge egg actually looks like, but they know the reference. It was even a major plot point in a Bond film from the 80s, OCTOPUSSY.

        Being an expert, I would expect some general knowledgeable about the more popular aspects of your specialist subject especially when those aspects have made it into everyday language as a cultural reference to extent that an extremely popular movie franchise uses them as a plot point.

        Further, Farberge eggs aren’t ancient history, they were created between 1885 and 1917, so your example of being expected to know about 14th century China isn’t right in terms of comparable expected knowledge.

        There are very few things known about Russia or China. And even fewer as an expression of wealth. Faberge eggs are one of the few things that are known. Not simply as specialist art/art history knowledge, but as general cultural knowledge. And it is disgraceful that an art history major doesn’t know something that my 10yr old niece knows – she learnt it from that Bond film.

        Since history is your interest, and not trying to trip you up or expect a detailed explanation, and using the right comparable history period, sticking with Russia, i’d be very shocked if you didn’t know who Rasputin was. He is another aspect of Russia that has made it into general knowledge. There is even a pop song about him from a European 70s/80s band called Boney M. It’s on youtube if you are curious.

        1. Really Herazeus you’ve spoiled my day. I’m going to be singing “Ra Ra Rasputin Russia’s greatest love machine” all day now!!

  6. To me it looks like they’re trying to recreate a Diana/AIDS ‘moment’.

    They’ve latched on to mental health, not because they care, but because it fits their agenda and is already a movement happening – in the past decade its become much more socially acceptable to be open about MH. They’ve latched on at a late stage to claim credit for changing social perceptions, just like Diana & AIDS. Difference is, Diana worked hard. W&K are doing bare minimum & for their personal benefit.

    Truly an odious pair.

  7. It’s all about the optics again, isn’t it? Being called out for years of downright laziness and lying, coupled with the public’s derisory response, W+K have no option but to rehabilitate their image. We are all cynical to the point of exhaustion as to whether they can empathize with anyone beyond themselves. Their actions show how both remove themselves as far away as possible from other peoples’ realities. W+K are too entitled, too self-absorbed, too immature.
    When past performance comes into play the emphasis is on Kate’s clothes and demeanor to such an extent that the purpose of any engagement is obscured. The press is a partner in this too: I wonder if they could focus on the charity, what it does and needs and refrain from making it about a clothes fest. Kate revels in being the centre of attention, maybe a validation of being considered barely noticeable for most of her life? Lack of deep preparation – oh, let’s be honest, ANY preparation – comes across as disinterest as well as rudeness to the charity and people concerned.
    I have asked in several posts about the point of a royal visit. As Ellie has confirmed, what the charity gets out of it is highly dependent on the royal assigned to it, their interest beyond a press release and photo op, work ethic, stamina and compassion.
    KMR pointed out that mental health issues are too important to be delegated to a couple with no discernible work ethic. W+K have got to get beyond ‘creating awareness’, their usual go-to nothing phrase. And I see in the press release, the word ‘keen’ is used. Again. In the context of W+K I’m reading ‘keen’ to mean ‘we know nothing, have done no prep but will feign interest/concern and scuttle back to our lovely lives’.

    1. “Their actions show how both remove themselves as far away as possible from other peoples’ realities.”

      That’s the core problem for them, especially Kate. If you don’t have a naturally empathatic nature then it is hard to care about other people’s troubles if you are confronted with them directly – and they visit their charities and interact with the people affected by various problems too rarely.

      Plus, they need to stop using the word “keen”. It has become a joke by now.

      1. Their PR really shot themselves in the foot with using the word “Keen” too often. And especially when it did no relate to their actions.
        Only highlighting the distance.

        1. “But I AM being keen. Can’t these people tell from my crazy facial expressions? William, I don’t understand why they still think I don’t work.” Says Kate

      2. They also need to stop using, “Hugely” When I hear that and “Keen” together it really really gets on my nerves

      3. ” If you don’t have a naturally empathatic nature then it is hard to care about other people’s troubles if you are confronted with them directly”

        Can I say something?

        Not everyone needs to be empathetic and caring. Not everyone is. And that’s perfectly fine.

        The problem here is not that Kate is not empathetic. The problem is that Kate does not play to her strengths. If Kate is not empathetic by nature and can’t fake being empathetic, then she needs to stop trying to be the “children’s Princess” or “the caring one” and start doing things that allow her to do other things. Instead of focusing on areas where Kate would need to interact with people who have illnesses or problems or whatever, Kate could focus on doing more business-related things where she can doesn’t have to pretend to care about someone’s sad story, or she could focus on art and preserving art or hosting art competitions (she would have to interact with the winners but they wouldn’t be telling a sad story so it would be fine), or she could focus on sports and getting kids to eat well and exercise more (she would have to interact with kids, but again no sad stories so it should be fine).

        It’s not about pigeonholing someone into a box because that’s what we want/expect from their title or role (ie. Princesses have to be kind and caring), but about allowing them to find what truly suits them and allowing them to make the most of it. Kate needs to find what really suits her, what plays to her strengths, and work hard at that. Not force herself to be empathetic because that’s what the public want from a “Princess”.

        1. Maybe I didn’t express myself clearly but that was kind of my point. She obviously has difficulties relating to people that come from a different walk of life than herself and have problems that she herself has no experience with.

          I’m not saying that she has to be a compassionate person but rather that it is counter-productive for her to be pushed into an area where she is so clearly uncomfortable and uninformed.

          However, I do find it hard to see where her strengths are in other areas since she hasn’t really shown much interest and knowledge when it comes to art and neither has she any work experience to draw on in relation to other areas.

          She obviously enjoy sports. we saw that at the tennis engagement – yet she didn’t seem to catch on to the fact that she was there to support a program that can help young people. All of Judy Murray’s quotes about Kate say that she only approached this engagement in terms of how this could benefit her and her children personally. This is what I mean! She doesn’t really appear to have any “real” understanding (as opposed to PR buzzwords) of how the programs/organisations she’s the patron of can help and change the lives of others for the better. I just get the feeling that she can’t really look beyond the tip of her nose – so she’ll need better coaching, even if she focused on sports related organisations.

  8. KMR, let me just start by saying I understand your “rumbling” on a subject that you’re so sensitive about.

    Now, like the others, I agree this is more a PR destruction thing. The more we criticise W&K for not working enough or not working on a serious subject, the more “major focus” and “particularly keen” fanfares we are going to get. Maybe Jason does read KMR after all and maybe he has decided to include more of William -hence the common W&K engagements- in his efforts, against the recent bad press targeted to William.

    That being said, I doubt if it really matters in this point what W&K actually accomplish through their “work”. The British tabloids we follow here are mostly focusing on appearances and as far as I know, KMR is the only place where charities and causes are put forward. All I’m saying is that W&K are not being seriously considered, for a number of reasons. Knowledge, dedication, empathy, consistency and honesty are yet to be proved. With the older royals the case is different, as Ellie mentioned with PC. And Harry has made leaps ahead when he took the Invictus under his wing.

    Granted, W&K taking up such a serious and delicate cause is a risk. If this falls flat it will damage both them and the cause.

    Finally I’d like to add that it bothers me referring to mental illness sufferers only from the “victim” point of view. Criminals are often bullies and delinquents with serious mental issues.

    Jen, just read your comment above. We actually say similar things. 🙂

    1. What I don’t want to see is mental health charities and those they serve become victims of the British Royal Family and its PR. If substantial, ongoing and real commitment cannot be provided by W+K with the incredible platform accorded their status, they should just keep the hell away.
      The Queen should understand that W+K’s failures are her failures too. They should be her financial responsibility, not the public’s.

  9. I think everybody here is spot on in their comments. I can’t think of a more emotionally laden cause as suicide. It very well could backfire because of this, especially if no follow through. That’s almost cruel. I think it would be a good idea for W and K to do something like This Old House esque, Anmer Hall. Let the country gentleman farmer talk of his home and farm. That way people can get to know him as a person and it’s not so dramatic and potentially liable. Prince Charles did some documentaries on his Highgrove Home. It helped his image by being relatable to people.

  10. I think the reason the conversation about mental health has been so vague is because they never let media in with them during their engagements, so we never get to hear conversations and questions that are being asked. We only get the photos, which look very nice, but are ineffective with a cause like this. I think with this kind of charity it is extremely important to be vocal about it, but in a natural way. I don’t think pre-recorded videos is the way to go. I know she finds speeches hard, but perhaps an interview might help. She could explain how she met someone and how it touched her…just something personal so that people can connect to her as a human being while also learning about the subject. I think media inclusion would really help elevate the cause.

      1. I seriously doubt we’ll ever get anything personal like that from William or Kate because he has built such a wall around them and their privacy. It’s okay for a group of people (be they children, teens or adults) to spill their guts to them, but heaven forbid they share something that might make them more relatable to the people and cause they are championing. It would be one thing if they had degrees in the areas they are choosing or if they even appeared more sympathetic or empathetic to the person or cause. You just get the concerned looks, a handshake or wave and then they are gone. We don’t hear anything about follow through or ongoing work.

        1. I can leave out the private anecdotes or information if they were professional about their jobs and empathetic given the sensitive areas they are attaching themselves to.

          As an example, a nurse or doctor doesn’t have to tell you about themselves, but if they are professional and empathetic, their patients are more receptive.

          WK are not sympathetic OR Empathetic AND they aren’t knowledgeable OR prepared for their engagements. It’s a combination that no amount of personal anecdotes or Pictures of cute babies can correct.

  11. Mental health & suicide are not flu bugs that you catch at random & will go away after medication, chicken soup & rest. These are serious conditions that require medical & psychological knowledge. W+K should go to these engagements after lots of background infos, latest insights or technologies to share. Ask intelligent questions, show warmth & empathy & prove to everyone there that their involvement will make a difference. Are all these too much to ask from this lazy couple? I think their involvement in this charity will be a disaster. How can they offer help when they themselves need help when it comes to genuine care?

  12. While I like that they are “attaching” themselves to a cause, I don’t know how much good they are bringing to the cause. It’s not like the media (both domestic and international) are championing William and Kate as diligent, hard working patrons who are making a change (even if it’s a tiny one) or bringing more awareness to the mantel of mental health.

    This is not a mental illness, but I’m going to use this as an example. The Special Olympics. Eunice Kennedy Shriver recognized an issue with how people with intellectual disabilities were being treated. She started small, but then worked, using her name and funds that came from her and probably from her wealthy family and friends to turn it into the Special Olympics that have grown to an international event/cause. The key here is it was something she believed in and took actual steps to do something to better the situation that has resulted in a program that thousands have been able to be involved in. I have a sister-in-law with Down’s Syndrome and she participated in Special Olympic events as a child. I have the clippings her parents saved of her from the local papers. It was something she never would have had an option of participating in if this one person, Mrs. Shiver hadn’t worked as she did to make a difference in other people’s lives.

    What I would like is for each of them to select an area and focus on it with all of their being. For Kate, stay with children’s mental health but again maybe narrow it down to a specific area. William can focus of men’s suicide and the causes (bullying, etc.) The desired effect is that they will work within their focused area and actually do something beyond the superficial that people can point to as a concrete thing that they have done for the section they are focused on. It may be raising funds through events to go to organizations that help the category they are focusing on, donated to research. Harry is already focusing on the veteran’s side of things and is making concrete advances (Invictus Games, Walking With The Wounded). Something other than showing up with concerned faces, Kate getting flowers, sitting in a horseshoe formation with kids/adults who really aren’t going to open up with the media and/or W&K there.

    Think about it, if you were put into one of these meet and greets with W&K, whether public or private, would you open up to these two people about the struggles you are going through or have been through. I’ve been through bouts of depression. I had to take 6 months off from work once during a particularly bad episode. If W&K had shown up I would’ve walked the other way. Nothing, nothing about them radiates real caring, concern or that they are doing something to try to make things better for people. It’s more about Kate showing up in another $1000 pound coat, squeezing out her posh words without really saying anything and then they move on.

    As another poster said, it’s very had to care about them and their causes when you get the feeling that it’s all about them. Them and their image. Maybe if they talked about what attracted them to this particular cause. Something that happened or is happening in their lives, a friend who has been through it, relatives, etc. Not the vague generalities that get spewed out. I give my time and money when I see concrete results and plans that are going to lead to making the particular organization and the topic they are supporting move forward. I don’t get that from anything W&K touch. It’s sad but true.

    P.S. Sorry it was so long, they are just really so very annoying to me.

    1. To get anything worthwhile underway, there has to be ongoing passion and determination. Unless the work is real and sustained, it’s unfair to the charities concerned. They have more than enough on their plates.

      1. They need only to direct their staff to go a certain route. And for themselves to actually care about the task taken. It would be less work and greater reward than just playing PR deflection.

  13. Understanding that W/K do not want the public to know the intimate details of their private lives which is fine, give us at least a glimpse. You want to focus on children’s mental health, then give us some pictures of your children in the style of the Swedish Royals, so we know you are somehow connected to the cause and not just giving lip service. They make it very hard for the public to relate to them. If they want to become involved in suicide prevention, tell us why ….did it happen to a friend, someone in the family, don’t just say it is a “terrible thing and an issue that tears apart families”. Basically, make yourselves more human. Causes to them are like flavors of the month…what cause will it be in April?
    As far as Kate speaking, now the excuse is she does not like to speak in public, well she she shoud have thought about that when she married into this family. That angle is wearing pretty thin with me as given her position she could engage the best speech coaches in the business, who could also coach her in asking high value open ended questions and to cultivate an empathetic way of speaking. W/K are just a directionless train wreck at this point and they may just be better off disappearing into Anmer Hall and living the country life, because the way they conduct themselves makes it pretty hard to like or admire them and they have no credibility with their “causes”.

  14. At this point I can’t see how they could make up for the lost time and lost opportunities. In about 10 years from now W+K will be King and Queen Consort. As the last 5 years already passed by within the blink of an eye without none of them having an impact on anything we already know by now that two blinks won’t make a huge difference. At best she will maybe give in and hire a proper stylist. Apart from that everything will remain the same.

  15. I think everybody expects too much from William and Kate.

    Kate: she certainly was not an inspired choice of a wife on William’s part. She never had a career, waited around for William’s beck and call for SEVEN YEEARS and didn’t do a productive thing with her time. As we say in the USA, she went to St Andrews to get her MRS degree. Compare Kate to the accomplishments of the other royals by marriage ladies. These ladies had lives of their own prior to marriage. Kate never did. William needed an attractive womb that would do what he wanted her to do. That is Kate. Also, Kate is 34…looks at what Princess Diana had accomplished by the same age. I agree that the comparisons should stop because Kate will never ever accomplish what Diana did.

    As for William-he is damaged goods and probably agoraphobic and crippled with bitterness and anxiety over his mother and frankly, his dysfunctional family. He hates being a royal, yet clutches to the perks. Quite a conundrum.

    These two will never rise to the occassion like Diana, like Charles and Camilla, or even Harry. WK just don’t have the drive or personality.

    1. Lol, Kate went to St. Andrews to get her HRH degree, and how did she snag him, why her exhibitionism of course,modeling lingerie at a fashion show. Wow,now thats a class act choice for the future Queen of England. We can’t expect much you’re right. Flashing maybe,but that’s it.

    2. +1 Wills never looks happy. Even when he smiles, he looks constipated. Sorry, but the guy always looks so miserable. I honestly think he could benefit from some therapy.

  16. This focus on children’s mental health is the brainchild of Jason Knauf, and not due to any particular passion or even interest by Will or Kate, especially. This topic met several criteria: 1)No other royal had “claimed” it; 2) By narrowing it to children, it would boost the maternal image that Kate lacks; 3) It had links to one of the very few other charities she had already selected; and 4)By having Kate and Will “focus” on one topic, they could become somewhat knowledgeable and appear expert in one field. Also, I think Jason was looking for something with a social edge to it, like Diana and AIDS as someone else mentioned. But you’re so very right: This one topic is far too broad and complex for the royal couple, not known for intellect or empathy, to approach or handle successfully. How Jason measures the success of this PR strategy (in terms of “likes” and shares in social media) has very little if anything to do with the impact of the charities’ services.

    1. The objectives of Jason and his clients vs the charities are wildly different. The first is after ‘likes’, the second impacting positively on damaged lives. It’s utterly nauseating.

    2. It just shows what a man without conscience will do. And….Jason Knauf is showing his ignorance and stupidity, without an iota of empathy or understanding. It’s more like, “Hey, this looks good. Reminds me of your mummy. Let’s go for the mental health angle because it’s never been done before in the RF. Just show up and be precious”.

  17. OK, I am negative. Very. This pair of ‘let’s pick a cause that sounds really really deep and serious’, are doing absolutely nothing, nada, zilch, zip to help. They’re just blabbering and since their tour of Bhutan and India is short they need to dangle a carrot in front of the plebs, as in we’re going to become involved in this very critical issue when we get back. As Ellie said, as one who truly suffers from serious depression, who has been suicidal in the past with an attempt that landed me in ICU, two daughters who tried, one of whom tried twice and wound up on life support they’re insulting. I suppose that Billy could try to play the mummy was depressed/suicidal so I know card, but about the time that either of them showed up anywhere I was involving these issues I would get up and leave the room. They are simply picking deep causes to justify their happy little jaunts into their attending premiers and games. Nobody needs a vapid empty headed vacant bored eye rolling dressed to the nines not so mentally together herself in my humble opinion hanging around gathering brownie points when people are really serious. Oh well, it’s pretty clear that these dimbulbs are totally lacking **any** credibility and I’m reasonably certain that the charities, the people who really care and know whereof they speak will ‘entertain’ the fakes for an hour or so, then get back to business. Kate had better be practicing her serious, I care face very hard. If she goes into one of her maniacal loony laughter attacks she might not be allowed to leave and that’s all I’m going to say because I’m becoming more irate by the moment.

    Jason, really? We all know that you’re the ‘driving force’ behind this but these two are a lost cause and a whole lot of people are just totally done with them. As in don’t care. As in no matter what rabbit you pull out the hat you’re probably wearing to cover up the fact that you’ve pulled out your last hair it isn’t going to bring these two out of the pit they’ve dug for themselves. Very few are buying the ‘caring’ couple crap and those who are can get it at a huge discount.

      1. +2 prefect words I do really hope you and your daughters are in a better place now. As I said very early in the post suicide is simply too complex and serious to be used as a media tool for the Cambridges. They are actually doing a disservice to those they are trying to help. Sending you some rays of early evening spring sunshine fromEngland to wherever you are royalsareajoke.

        1. +3
          And I, too, send you and your daughters sunlight and love from New Zealand.

          Thank you for your bravery and for telling your story.

    1. royalsareajoke,

      It’s a grievous insult to you and yours and all those who have suffered this ordeal. Those who have survived and those who did not.

      Thank you for your story.

      1. +4 and I do appreciate your courate, too. By sharing your story, you are doing far more than you can know. I so hope that; you and your daughters are in a far better place. You understand this subject so well and your thoughts are most meaningful.

    2. Autism would be an excellent platform for her ( having two young children in their formative years). But there again, she would have to study up on the subject.

      1. We are, and thanks so much for caring. We will always suffer from depression, it’s treatable but no cure that I know of. Both of my daughters are married now, and have children. In my experience I’ve found that acceptance is the key. No one who doesn’t have depression can know, or maybe even be expected to know how ugly it is, how debilitating, but my husband accepts me (took a lot of time) and my sons in law are bewildered at times but as supportive as they can be. Thanks again to all who asked about us. Awesome people here!!

  18. I commend your faith in the face of PR being used cynically create an image when the reality is the two people don’t give a hoot about the latest cause they are ‘keen’ on.

    You and everybody else should be furious because as with all things, and previous causes, WK will tread superficially, claim the credit if it works out (all the hard work having been done by others) and blame everybody else when it doesn’t.

    This is a woman who has happily thrown away addiction and Hospices – two areas she was previously keen on. So keen that she barely visited, and couldn’t pronounce descriptive words associated with the causes.

    Then when she lurches onto MH, the first speech she gives, after allegedly reading scientific papers on the subject and apparently working on it all these years (she’s taken to claiming this as a key area she’s been working on since she married. Emphasis ‘work’. Nevermind the addiction and hospices) she produces a speech in which she says only poor people get MH. And being poor, they are unlucky because then they will definitely get MH.

    And doesn’t bother to correct herself in follow up speeches an instead gives herself a pat on the back for ‘her work’.

    Then there is William. A man who is bored every 6mths (on average), by every single thing, be it work or pleasure and abandons it as soon as he can, unless there are incentives involved. Doggy treats I call them.

    What happened to his passion for conservation? Isn’t that the area he should be concentrating on? I don’t think anyone cares about it anymore today than they did a year ago or whenever he talked about George roaring like a lion and wanting to save lions for George to look at as an adult.

    Harry started out with WWTW and Help for Heroes before moving to Invictus. There is a natural progression from on to the next that doesn’t leave the impression that he did an about face and found a new shiny toy to play with.

    I have so much compassion for carers and those with Mental health issues. WK are the wrong choice to spearhead any movement in this area, then again, they are too lazy and self absorbed to spearhead any movement in any subject in society.

    We really need to find a way to have them kept away from all the public, which they’ve demonstrated is their preference, AND from all the public perks and taxpayer credit card.

    1. Love your post Herazeus! I too wish there was a way to give them the privacy they so thoroughly crave, sans the perks. Just let them have their yearly island hops and stay holed up in a country estate somewhere for the rest of the time.

    2. I am most mortified for the person who attempted suicide, and perhaps, in good faith, believes that these 2 dolts know something and actually care. I know one will do anything to push a good cause, but….well, I have NO words, knowing these two.

    3. “she produces a speech in which she says only poor people get MH. And being poor, they are unlucky because then they will definitely get MH.”

      She never said that. She never even imply that.

      She said:

      “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. Since beginning my work in areas like addiction, for example, I have seen time and time again that the roots of poor mental health in adulthood are almost always present in unresolved childhood challenges.

      “I am sure you will agree that all children deserve time, attention and love from the adults in their lives. These basic qualities are so much more valuable than the always changing material and social concerns that can seem so important to young people.

      “As today’s theme reminds us, many children – even those from stable, happy homes – are finding that their heads are just too full. It is our duty, as parents and as teachers, to give all children the space to build their emotional strength and provide a strong foundation for their future.

      “Of course, not all children have the anchor of a strong family. Many will arrive through your school gates feeling a real lack of love and devotion in their lives. This often leaves them feeling insecure and without confidence and trust in the world around them. That is why your work is so important.”

      What she is saying is that she had a good support system growing up but not all children have a good support system in their lives. If anything, that’s the problem. Because just because a child has a good support system and “time, attention and love from the adults in their lives” doesn’t mean they won’t suffer from some sort of mental illness. But then she does go on to say that children from happy, stable homes can suffer from mental illness. So…

      Yes, her speech was terribly worded, and using the term “lucky” was stupid, but she never said or even implied that only poor people suffer from mental illness. She never even mentioned financial class at all.

  19. The best thing for everyone (but mainly the British public) would be for W+K to retire from whatever their ‘work’ is, and live in the seclusion they so desire. Separating them from the public teat won’t be easy but they do have ample and substantial private funds to draw from in order to subsidise their lifestyle.

    1. Agreed. But for William, tugging the forelock from poor to rich is priceless and he won’t give that up, IMO.

      And he wouldn’t be able to afford the helo, either. He would be relatively poor and deprived.

  20. It seems that the mental health conversation has unleashed our negativity. I think we’re all irritated in the least and disappointed with this piece of news. Mental health includes a huge range of illnesses and in one way or another, most of us have been affected either personally or through our loved ones. I completely understand as another sufferer and carer, so I send to all fellow KMRs my best hopes and wishes.

    Nevertheless, I for one have to give the benefit of the doubt until the event and reserve judgement as KMR says. Maybe we’ll even notice something positive. If not, I think I will just ignore or avoid the conversation to prevent more irritation building up…

    Thank you KMR for your thoughts and concerns on the subject.

    1. With all due respect, it has not “unleashed our negativity”. The criticism is eminently valid especially from those who know a thing or two about the exigencies of mental health. Even on the surface, you just know this is totally a PR move. They don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.

    2. I agree with you Elina. I think they’re a couple of dilettantes who flit from cause to cause and haven’t seen much substance from them at all. I’m going to get tired of waiting for them to actually buck up and do something soon, but for now I too hope something good can come out of this.

      1. When will enough be enough? I wonder that about all those out there who keep giving them the benefit of the doubt no matter how cynical their manipulations. I really have to wonder about that sort of investment.

        What does it take to convince people that they are not only dilettantes (which presupposes some interest, of which I doubt they have any) but not remotely interested in the lives of human beings unless it is ‘their kind’ or it benefits them? Seriously, it’s been 5 years.They’ve shown their true colours over and over again.

        1. This is far too serious an issue to keep cutting W and K more slack.

          I am not saying that his work with the air ambulance hasn’t opened William’s eyes to issues and given him a desire to help others. However, neither he nor Kate have shown ability to stick with any of their interests du jour. I hope I am wrong, but throwing these two into the important work of suicide prevention is something that will boomerang big-time, I believe. Those who are seeking help and see the famous duo positively shining a light on their struggle need honest and steady support. I would hate to think how awful it will be for so many if the twosome loses interest quickly That would be beyond cruel. How can any of us be blamed for expecting the worst? We’ve not been shown otherwise previously, have we?

        2. “When will enough be enough?”

          I don’t know. But I for one won’t keep following them and writing this blog when it is.

    3. It’s not that the conversation has “unleashed my negativity”, it’s that the conversation has caused me to analyze it more and I’ve come to the conclusion that the conversation is going nowhere because it’s so vague.

      I’ve had this same realization with the conversation around feminism. I fully support economic, social, and political gender equality but the conversation around feminism is so vague that of course it won’t succeed since there is no clear goal.

  21. These unempathetic, unintelligent, self-absorbed blockheads are the least qualified to have anything to do with mental health unless they themselves get some therapy. They are playing one *hell* of a dangerous game. Grrrrr. I’m going for a walk to cool down, I’m so upset.

    1. “…unempathetic, unintelligent, self-absorbed blockheads……”

      Why weren’t they prompted to address “suicide” when the poor maternity ward employee, Jacinta Saldanha, KILLED HERSELF???????

      1. Thanks for the reminder.

        If you don’t mind, i’m going to copy and paste your comments (or even vocalise it) should anyone claim that they are care about suicide.

      2. You are so right! That incident occurred before their spindoctor Jason Knauf was hired, so mental health was not yet part of their PR strategy.

  22. I am not sure how I feel but I know how I don’t feel if that is any help to this conversation. I think a lot is being said by Kate and editors coverage but of her but I seem to come away none the wiser. I would have liked to see her state cutting edge research, perhaps state various solutions.

    Herazeus and Lisa mentioned the Invictus Games . The latest video promotion is everywhere.

    Kate has proved she can learn as she attended University so the difference seems to be she is more general as compared to Harry who is hands on. Of course he was born to it but then so was William.

    I think what I mean is I feel I am not really learning anything new and its the editors rather than Kate who are adding info in their coverage.Hopefully this will change as they learn more, we will learn more.

    EDIT- I broke the links as I don’t know KMR protocol.

    Invictus Games Prince Harry attends first day of team trials
    ht tps://
    INVICTUS GAMES 2016 – New Zealand Team Trailer
    ht tps://

    US Team – I AM Video – Invictus Games 2016
    ht tps://

    1. “Kate has proved she can learn as she attended University”

      Or it means she did enough to regurgitate whatever without learning a thing.

      I do believe she can learn- learn how to keep William sucked in. I doubt she ever had an interest to learn anything else.

    2. University of St Andrews is considered best in Scotland and one of the top in the UK. Candidates should have 3.2 GPA or equivalent. Kate achieved 2 A’s and a B in her A levels needed for entry. William achieved A in Geography B in History of Art, C in Biology and won a place to study History of Art. They both graduated in 2005 with 2:1 Kate in Art History and William in Geography. 2:1 means 2nd – class honors upper division. 1st is the highest out of 5 classifications.

      Interesting quote from Kate during her 2nd year: “to get an overall education in all aspects of life.”

        1. One very telling note at the bottom of the statement from Majesty Magazine?

          “The rest of the day’s programme will be private.”

          Oh, ok so does that mean Kate will be going shopping?

          1. ROFL! Thanks for that. I needed it. 🙂

            I think the idea of saying it is private is to make it sound like things are so grave and so serious (not untrue) and only the blockheads can be privy to this because they are special, puffed up with gravitas. Secrecy is paramount! Even if she goes shopping and he buggers off to slaughter more birds and mammals or rendezvous with Jecca.

          2. Oh, yes, Cathy. Just as she did after HuffPost gig.
            No wonder we are so jaded when it comes to her. And, William.
            I simply cannot imagine them following through. Or, even making more than a tidy bit of study about the issues.

      1. And William was practically given his degree. A professor of mine was in the graduate school at St Andrews at the same time. Small school, everyone talked. He had nothing but unflattering things to say about William (came to class drunk, hungover, slept through it, people did notes for him, he often didn’t show up, etc), and a bit about Kate. Just because he has a degree doesn’t mean he earned it.

        1. Wow! How incredibly disrespectful!
          He obviously didn’t care about learning. Why then not simply conclude university was not for him and let him find something else better suited for his abilities?

        2. I have to admit I loved reading this about Will. I wish there was more info about Kate as a student. Can you remember anything the professor said about her?

          1. Kate’s teachers at university said that she was unremarkable and completely forgettable. one went as far as expressing surprise at her being described as having charisma since they never witnessed it when they taught her – said around the engagement.

            Her teachers in high school described her as a plodder. someone who had to really apply herself to achieve anything – also said around the engagement and incidentally a view shared by her uncle Gary when he was still talking to the world about Kate.

          2. But the whole reason for Kate going to St. Andrews was to meet and snag the Prince. So, why are we focusing on her academic strengths or weaknesses? She succeeded and achieved the goal she and her mother set. Excuse my sarcasm.

            The stories about William’s behavior at school are terrible. How disrespectful of him.

          3. Mostly just how rude she was to everyone, especially other young women. He worked in a pub, he said, and encountered them both. William was even worse, according to him. He’s not the sort of guy to be into gossip, but he related what he had heard about William’s behavior. I’ve read the same sort of thing before, and this years ago, before the whitewashing begun in earnest on both of them. Same with remembering reading some very unflattering things whilst he was in the RAF. I reiterate it’s gossip but IMO it’s credible.

            I’ve read similar things from people who were at St Andrews at the time.

          4. If Kate’s teachers said she was “completely forgettable” then why are we taking anything they say about her as anything more than a pinch of salt? If she was completely forgettable then they must have completely forgotten her which means whatever they say about her is what their own imaginations come up with because they don’t remember her.

            I’ve said this at least once before, but people change all the time. I don’t know about you guys but I am not the same person I was 10 years ago. I would be so pissed off if someone who barely knew me 10 or 15 years ago and can barely remember me now got to be the definitive word on what I’m like, how smart I am, and how I act right now. They wouldn’t even have the right to define the me from 10 or 15 years ago since they barely knew me then.

            Personally, I give no shits what Kate did in school, or what she did prior to marriage. I care what she does now. I wouldn’t even care about all of the lazy BS from the past 5 years if she started, from this moment on, being a hard working individual. As I have said many times about Camilla and Sofia, it does not matter what she did in the past, it matters what she does now.

            And BTW, just because people change and are not the same as they were years ago, doesn’t mean they’re faking it now. They could be, or they could be genuine in their change. If one does not know the person in real life and talk to the person about it, then there is no way to know if it’s genuine or not. But for so many people in the public eye, if they change their mind on a subject, then the public automatically assumes they are lying and faking it for PR reasons. Considering how much growing and changing I’ve done, and how much I still want to do in order to become the person I want to be, it annoys me when people don’t allow others to grow and change.

          5. I agree with KMR. People change. I barely showed up to classes in first year university. Hardly ever handed in assignments on time. I, without a doubt, spent more time partying than I did anythin school related. I honestly have no idea how I didn’t fail. BUT I was also 18 and stupid. I did les and less of that as each year went on and I graduated after 4 years with a B.A Honours.

        3. William wanted to quit Uni! Kate always seems to be given the credit for convincing him to stay and just switch majors, or so KN would have us believe. My money is on Charles for getting that train back on it’s tracks.

          1. I’d assume Charles! I’ve read Charles wanted him to commit, that an education was important, look at all the trouble the university has gone through for you (bullet proof windows, bomb doors, etc), and how awful it would make him look if he dropped out–and it was the last one that got William to stick it out. Then again, it was pretty much decided he’d get his degree no matter what.

          2. It was Charles who got William to stay, not Kate. Kate’s PR people just like to claim it was all up to her.
            But unfortunately with William staying on at St Andrews we ended up with Kate being able to get her claws into him and we have the train wreck that we have today.

    3. “Of course he was born to it but then so was William.

      I understand what you’re saying, but you don’t have to be born to it to want to make a difference if it’s in your being. Kate doesn’t have that silent urge a lot of people have to want to make a difference in others lives. If she did she wouldn’t be hopscotching all over the various causes to try and find her niche. She would have latched onto something before she married and went at it once she had the power of the HRH behind her name. If I were in her place I would have come with a list of my own choosing of organizations and causes I wanted to back. Things I already support in whatever way I can as a private citizen. She and William are wasting so many opportunities with their their seeing attitude of only doing the patronages because the have to.

      1. Hi, I agree with you. For some reason I am not getting updates or notices so I missed your comment.

        You just gave me a lightbulb moment. What you said here is so true.
        She must have thought about this aspect of her marriage before she accepted his proposal. People do discuss certain things to ensure they will be compatible before they marry, don’t they?
        I imagine William would have made certain she understood that this was no ordinary commitment she would be making and she did have the benefit of time to develop her ideas in advance. Even I have my soft spots for certain causes. Its odd that they are so underdeveloped after 5 yrs of marriage.
        Other people who marry into royalty seem to find their place and are eager to make a difference.So what is the delay?

        ‘If I were in her place I would have come with a list of my own choosing of organizations and causes I wanted to back. Things I already support in whatever way I can as a private citizen. She and William are wasting so many opportunities with their their seeing attitude of only doing the patronages because the have to’.

      2. And those born into it don’t have to want to care about other people. Not everyone does.

  23. I also don’t know why all the focus on mental health just brings up depression. In my practice, yes I do see more depressive than schizophrenic patients etc..Probably, the non-depressive population does not, cannot stand up and be heard. I usually see mom, dad, wife but hardly ever the patient him/herself.

    Those who promote mental health but just focus solely on depression is not doing mental health a lot of favours really.

    1. Beatrice, Coming from a place of personal experience, depression is the umbrella term used as a jump off . Again, doctors I know tend to use that term in their first consult then if it doesn’t get better move on to other terms if symptoms are not straightforward. Also some people don’t want to present and be labeled. Is this your experience?
      I think it may be why some people fall through the cracks. I would rather be depressed than be…say schizophrenic or Bipolar as its easier to swallow. I say that only because of the lack of understanding out there. I know people tend to equate Bi-Polar with anger which is not alway correct. So that’s where Kate comes in….

      ”“Kate has proved she can learn as she attended University”

      Or it means she did enough to regurgitate whatever without learning a thing.”

      Of course, but as long as she can regurgitate cutting edge info, we benefit somewhat. She can read from someone’s notes if it makes a difference. Like Harry, her fame is the thing.Trouble is she has a deficit when it comes to her public persona. I think she is being allowed to be reticent for too long and as I said before her helicopter mum hold them back mentally. Sad …

      1. “but as long as she can regurgitate cutting edge info, we benefit somewhat. ”

        Who benefits? And she isn’t remotely regurgitating anything but ignorance. It’s not about her fame. It’s about her credibility. Her fame has led her audience to misinformation- dangerous misinformation.

        Depression is NOT “the umbrella term used as a jump off “. This is so misleading and irresponsible, and so mischaracterises the study and work of mental health professionals on every level that I’m gobsmacked.

        1. My apologies if I have left you gobsmacked.I was referring to personal experience as I said, and I asked if this was the experience of Beatrice as well.
          My son works in mental health. My brother in law is a doctor. One of my daughters is a Special Needs Teacher who is sent on courses to keep up to date.
          My mother was diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Epilepsy with Tonic–clonic seizures and Diabetes. In my family we also have Aspergers, Major Depression, PTSD,, Bipolar, Anxiety and SAD. We have lost 3 family members to suicide in the last 2 generations in our family.
          My ex is MTT’s, (Transgender). Depression and then Anxiety were the Psychiatrists first two options that were suggested. Perhaps its different here?

          Who benefits are people who may listen to her and what someone who writes her speeches has to say I expect. I read comment sections on various sites and its a mixed bag of fans and non fans. I am not a fan but appreciate anything that may illuminate or start a conversation on the topic.
          As I said I hope its possible the information will become more cutting edge over time.
          It was not my intention to be irresponsible and I do take this very seriously.

      2. Depression is a good starting point when engaging with this subject – maybe because more people are affected by it than other illnesses within the spectrum. It is also the least stigmatised. However, it is also one that is easy to overlook because the symptoms can be confused with stress and being burnt out. It is crucial to get a diagnosis and proper treatment early since an untreated depression increases the risk for having another one later. For each depression, the risk increases, which could end with permanent symptoms. That’s what happended to me. My first depression wasn’t treated because I simply thought that I was stressed out over taking care of my sick mother.

        I think it is a good idea to start the debate with depression and then move on to other (more stigmatised) disorders. That’s what I would do.

        Furthermore, combatting stigma involves more than simply saying: “this is wrong and should stop”. Hard info is required but so is a discussion of why it is so hard to combat the stigma of mental illness. Such disorders affect thought and behaviour and it can be diffuclt to separate illness from personality. Even if you you know something intellectually, it can be hard to fully comprehend on an emotional level. At least, that is my experience.

    2. I only bring up depression because that’s the only thing I can speak about from a point of having suffered from it.

  24. You know if they were really serious about children mental health and now suicide prevention, they, especially Kate (the one who really doesn’t do any work) would volunteer with an organization dealing with these issues on a weekly basis/couple times a week. This would be a good way for her to learn about a subject that she is so “keen” on.

  25. Thanks for the post KMR, this is an important subject which needs tackling but I just don’t think William and Kate (especially Kate) have the ability to approach it properly.
    At this point in time I feel that all we’ve seen so far has been rhetoric from their office (Jason – I’m looking at you). As it appears to be nothing but buzz words at this time I don’t feel the people behind this press statement actually have no idea about what they are talking about so we get nothing but buzz words and no substance. Of course it could all be better on the day?
    I do want to acknowledge Jonny Benjamin for telling his story, not just once but over and over again in the hope that by telling what happened to him some other lives can be saved too. I also want to thank Neil Laybourn for being in the right place at the right time and saving Jonny.

    1. Cathy thank you for your post. I so agree.

      I googled Jonny Benjamin and what a story. Read some of his comments on Twitter. This is substance. This is helping others. This is being involved.

        1. Yes, Cathy, thank you. You summed this up so well.

          I’m wondering what it meant when it was pointed out that W and K would drop in to the documentary. Just sit for a bit and take in a frame, or two?
          Is that what was implied?

          Jonny Benjamin deserves gratitude for his dedication to the cause. He is a courageous man and someone who deserves more than a brief moment of the Cambridge’s time. So do the people he wants to help.

  26. I think they would be better off if they announced that they (Kate and Will) are expanding their own mental focus, as in they are becoming smarter. These issues are too serious for them to play pretend work. I vote for mental focus expansion! I was going to put a happy face at the end but I honestly now think that the situation is not simply gossip, it’s actually wrong. It’s wrong of them to care this little, to work this little and to be this dumb. Sorry just my opinion.

  27. Oh they’d better be serious. This is not an issue which lends itself to self-promotion. I want to see serious engagement, follow ups, speeches, everything but the kitchen sink.

    I feel very strongly about this issue, my son was hospitalised for being suicidal four years ago. The therapists and doctors did a great job, are still doing a good job and he is, while he will always be more vulnerable than others, a happy youngster now. His brother and I are still having therapy, too, to help us deal with the trauma the whole family went through. We’re all better now, but if it hadn’t been for an open minded society here in Switzerland, I don’t know what would have happened.

    The stigma around mental illness can be felt when you try to raise money for the cause. More children and teens are lost to suicide than to some forms of cancer. When a child gets cancer everybody goes the extra mile to help, people donate time and money to the cause. When a child is depressed or has other mental illnesses, people tell him/her to lighten up and get over it.

    I better stop right here, or I’ll ruin everybody’s Sunday with a rant.

    1. HyacinthBucket, I sorry that you have had such hurdles to face. At times it looks like an impossibility that things will improve, but they often do and I am so glad to read you say that you and your family are better. Its not easy. Its never easy. Your comment gives me strength. Thankyou .
      I too hope this will be something Kate and William will take seriously. I got the feeling she has some turmoil of her own so fingers crossed she will go the distance.

      1. Thank you charlston. It gets better with help. Swallowing your pride and accepting help is the best one can do for oneself and one’s family. I sense you are struggling, too. If so, don’t try to lift it alone. It is too heavy a burden for a single person. Hugs to you.

        1. HyacinthBucket, I send my support your way, too. You are brave to share your story and it is my wish that your family is still doing better. Accepting help is a major step and you took it! Good for you. That is motherly love!

  28. Seriously, I am starting to hate the word “keen”. The Cambridges are always “keen” to something. “The Duke of Cambridge is particularly keen to better understand the difficult issues around suicide, bullying, and the mental health of young men.” Ridiculous. William always bullied Harry because Harry didn’t attend university. He (William) is really a hypocritical. And about mental health, well, I think HE (William again) needs help.

    1. William is the same way about conservation. Save all the animals he chooses so that his kids can see them one day in Africa, but just ignore him when he goes out hunting with his friends for boar or hundreds of birds in Scotland because you know, it’s just what his family does.

    2. Let’s make some Keen T-shirts. They’d fly off the shelves.

      I am sick and tired of “keen,” too. Kate the Keen.
      Wonder how she celebrated Mothering Day? Oh, in private, I bet.
      With a visit to, or from, Carole the Magnificent, too.

      How keen is that?

      1. Well, she is a mother and Carole is HER mother, so bets are good there. I don’t think how she spends Mothering Sunday is any of our business.

        How she conducts herself and what “she” says in public and with her charitable works, let fly!

        1. omg, ray, I was just being sarcastic again. Yes, she is a mum and Carole is her mum, but of late, I am so darn sick of them. W, too. So, if I was nasty, I was nasty. I guess, a photo of them doing “motherly” things was too much to ask for. I mean, let’s guard their privacy, right?

          Of late, as I have previously said, they are grating on my nerves more and more. I will give W credit for the limited work he does as an air ambulance pilot and I think it has made an impact on him. For the life of me, I don’t see what makes an impact on Kate? Oh, William, of course. And, her kids. But, she cares for little else in my opinion. Oh, and the Midds. If we all led such shallow lives nothing would ever be accomplished in rectifying the things that need addressing. Most of us — no matter how busy we are — find the time to help others in some way.
          SO, that is probably why my snark factor was released in my previous post.

  29. I have to thank all of you who shared your personal stories here.
    Someone asked who benefits.
    Well, I benefited. I read your stories and looked up Jonny Benjamin. His and Neil’s story inspired me.
    I have encountered people with chronic diseases who didn’t really want to get better. They were contented that their life and the lives of people around them were deteriorating. Until you ask for help and you commit in getting better, there is no real progress. It’s a day by day thing but making a start and asking for help is the real breakthrough.
    This conversation may help someone to make a start.

  30. This is my first time commenting but long time reader of this blog. In the UK, a rapper called Professor Green did a series on BBC highlighting men’s mental health and suicide. His own father committed suicide, and it was well received here as it was really the first of its kind particularly focusing on men’s mental health. I wonder, seeing this programme be so well received that Prince William has taken it up. But it is such a serious matter that it’s very risky for W&K to do especially due to all the negative press they’ve been getting recently.

    1. Hi Tori welcome. It’ll definitely be interesting to see what happens with W&Ks involvement in their various mental health areas.

  31. I find it incredibly ironic that two people who need counseling themselves and should be in therapie (probably years of it) think they are perfectly fine and should be patrons of the awarenes of mental health issues!! If it wasn’t so very sad and delusional, it would be comic.

  32. Also I hate that they are keen to learn about this or that. I am not keen to teach two morons who don’t have even slight common sense. Specially not about serious issues such as this one. With their mental development, they should be learning how to dress themselves and talk. It’s really serious now, these two are just trying to retain their positions without any work.

  33. I just wish that W+K could say that they aren’t professionals, but here is a website to find resources. Promote the authors or the sites. Fundraise. This in and out crap won’t do anyone any favors.

  34. Reading all the comments here and in former posts I want to recommend KMR for sharing her story and bringing our stories into the open. KMR, you did more to highlight the needs and deficiencies surrounding help for mental health issues, than the Cambridges can hope to.

    Thank you for it.

    1. Yes, KMR. You inspire everyone with your courage and your honesty. This blog is a place we come to learn about Royals, but also to learn so much more. It’s a community of kind people, reaching out to one another. It’s a place where one can feel safe and have one’s problems acknowledged in a supportive way. We all wish you the best that life has to offer. You shine greatly in so many, many lives!

      1. I agree, jenny! It makes me upset to hear about Will and Kate’s fleeting fancy on this topic. I think if they created a safe forum like KMR, they would be more successful.

      1. Please allow me to comment on the important work you do, too, KMR.
        You do more than your fair share on an issue that is so important to your heart, and to the hearts of others. You are to be thanked for your courage and your ability to express yourself in a way that helps and educates others.

        Keep going! We are all happy to have this blog to visit.

  35. As Sage and Maventhe first have reminded us upthread, Why were they not keen when that nurse committed suicide at the hospital?

    They sent out a generic statement and have never followed up with the family.

    Yet, here they are, having ‘worked’ on the issue for several years now, they are supposed to be experts?

    Why do they keep positioning themselves as experts in any of the fields they champion when it’s quite clear they know nothing, don’t prepare for any and all public appearances/speeches, and simply use buzzwords delivered in as glib a manner as possible.

    It’s too bad this young man isn’t aware he is being used for PR to make *them* look better and the cause will be abandoned as soon as some other new issue catches their eye.

    1. It is infuriating! Why are these two lightweights being given such a heavyweight task when they clearly are the least qualified to tackle the subject. It’s a disgrace and a disservice to professionals and those who struggle with mental health issues.

      What qualifies them as “spokespeople” other than KP scraping the bottom of the barrel to make these emptyheads look smarter, engaged, and bigger than they really are.

    2. I would love for someone involved with one of these mental health charities they are visiting to ask about the Jacintha Saldanha suicide. Their response would be interesting.

  36. There’s a tiny part of me that wonders if this is their way of trying to get help without admitting it. It’s hard to admit you have a problem and need help. But then again, these two are too dimwitted to do something like that.

    I’m with you guys in that it annoys me. I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety. It took a long time before I swallowed my pride and admit that I needed help. And therapy has helped me so much. I regret not asking for help earlier. And I’ve dealt with addiction in a loved one. Loving someone with an addiction is hard! It sucks knowing what childhood trauma led them down the addiction path and watching that person self destruct because they don’t/can’t get the help they need.

    Everyone is different. There’s no one specific thing that will help. What might work for one person might not work for another. Part of their problem is they think it’s a “one size fits all cure”. For starters there’s no cure per say. Two, it’s not one size fits all. But the real problem is they don’t actually care. They’re already a train wreck and this is only gonna get worse.

  37. Kind of hypocritical they took this cause when W&K have huge mental issues themselves. Her anorexia, manic laughs, depression… His “man-child” attitude, controlling issues… Enough said!

    1. Any mental health issues they have is all speculation on our part. They have not confirmed anything and none of us know them personally, so it’a all speculation.

  38. I bet various professionals in the field are now bracing themselves for the media onslaught and waste of their time that is coming.
    Meanwhile the prison service, or hospices or other dropped causes can breathe a sigh of relief.

    I agree with many other posters, this is too serious for these two to play with and interfere with. Stick to something safer for all concerned.

    I have my mum with me at the moment and she’s an ardent royalist. Cooing over photos of Kate in a magazine this morning, I was a bit meh to say the least!
    I did make some more realistic comments in the (vain) hope that I can show some seeds for seeing the truth.

    And thank you to all those who have shared their stories, I suffered with depression when my middle child was diagnosed with epilepsy and was waiting for surgery, I was lucky and it was what I refer to as ‘situational depression’ – I had a tangible reason for struggling and once he had his surgery and came out the other side life looked so much brighter. I try and keep an eye on myself for when times get tough as I know I have that vulnerability going forward but luckily am ok. I feel I have looked into the abyss and sympathise with anyone who has been there or is still there.

    It’s too late now for W&K to back out so if their team is reading this, make sure you do a proper job!

      1. I noticed in paragraph four: “…and once he had his surgery and came out the other side life looked so much brighter.”

        So glad this difficult situation is over.

        1. Yes, sorry didn’t come back sooner.

          He did, we had a date which got cancelled which led to some very dark days. Then he had his op and we got discharged on Christmas Day – a perfect present 🙂

          Was a few years ago now, in 2009. He’s in a much better place now thriving at his special needs school 🙂

  39. MadCatLady, so glad things worked out for your child and for you. Having a sick child is scary beyond belief. I am sure you were met with all kinds of emotional issues. Thank goodness all turned out well.

    Good advice to Will and Kate, too!

  40. Is this WK living in the past again? Now they have their country manor and Nanny in uniform it’s time for a trip to Bedlam to pull some concerned faces at the poor people. How lucky we are that our betters are so generous with their time and condescension and let’s hope these trips into the dark side don’t affect their appetite for tea afterward.

    This just makes me so angry. They know NOTHING and are only going to these events to make themselves feel ‘charitable’. I just have this image of Waity shuddering with distaste once she’s back in the car, eager to get back to her pretty life and give her hands a good scrub. She doesn’t want to be ‘one of us’, she never has and it’s so obvious. They both need to stay away, the last thing vulnerable people need is to be patronised by this pair of airheads. WK should stick to cutting ribbons and waving, easy things that won’t offend or insult or display their ineptitude or ignorance of the topic. I’m sorry but this upsets me, they are both so useless and this is way too big and important to be trusted to either of them.

    1. I remember 5+ years ago, sitting and watching W&K during the engagement interview and really hoping these two were going to do a great job.

      I feel like the first year they seemed to do OK, about year two or three I wondered where they were, year four I was quickly loosing all hope and at present I feel there is no hope.

  41. I agree that in the main health workers do not choose their career as a way to seek personal solutions although that’s not always the case.(See a few links below.)
    What is the case is the percentage people with accrued mental health problems in that field due to the nature of the profession or what life throws their way. There is the need for self-care strategies for psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health workers of every type working with their clients.
    As was said here, advocates need to be committed and know their ground from both sides of the equation. Supporting one aspect is a good start although, after reading the comments here I am slowly losing my initial positivity.

    I understand why there is doubt re the Windsors ability as this is not straightforward as say, being the patron of the Royal ballet.

    The BBC program “How Mad Are You?” in 2008 was along the lines of the 1973 Rosenhan experiment. The aim of this BBC experiment was not to criticize the diagnostic process, but to minimize the stigmatization of the mentally ill. It aimed to illustrate that people with a previous diagnosis of a mental illness could live normal lives with their health problems not obvious to observers from their behavior. It was not received well in some quarters.

    There is so much to learn and so many papers they need to familiarize themselves with, that the task is not the easy choice they may have imagined. A speech will be helpful but they will have to be able to hold up their end of many conversation with people who are in pain to health care workers. That takes time. So is that what they have been doing in their country estate? I hope so.

    Mental illness and social stigma: notes on “How Mad Are You?”
    ht tp://

    Can I Be a Good Psychologist if I Have Mental Health Issues?By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW
    ht tp://

    Self-care strategies for psychologists working with suicidal clients/Impact of client suicide on treating clinicians
    ht tps://

    Why Shrinks Have Problems
    Suicide, stress, divorce — psychologists and other mental health professionals may actually be more screwed up than the rest of us.
    ht tps://

    The Painful Truth: Physicians Are Not Invincible
    ht tp://

  42. Reading everyone’s comments got me thinking. What would William & Kate need to do in order for any of us to believe them?

    For me, I’d need to at least see them
    – Admit the real reason they’re so keen and interested (Provided it’s not for PR. For example, I’m big on depression/anxiety, addictions and cancer research because I’ve had to deal with these personally and in family members.)
    – Gett specific about what mental health issue they want to focus on
    – Volunteer with an organization that deals with their mental health issue of choice (it’s 3am and I’m tired so I apologize because I can’t think of the word I wanna use)
    – Go to conferences and training to participate in and learn more about the constant new research that comes out about whatever issue they’re focused on.

    There’s probably more I’d want to see them do. (Again, it’s 3am and I’m tired but I can’t sleep because I’m trying to adjust and get ready for my night shifts.) Let’s pretend they’ll actually do something instead of the usual “show up, smile, shake hands, wave and leave”. Rinse and repeat until they find a new cause. What would you like to see them do? In the short term and the long run.

  43. For this engagement I think it would help if they spoke very candidly about their own experiences with mental health and suiside. By being open about it it would help with the stigma surrounding it. Also they need to create a real plan of how they will help. Also a donation of a few thousand dollars would be good. But not like 1-2 more in the tens at least. Can’t have the donation be less than her outfit cost. Also it would be good if they would then be back in the future to see what good their donation did. Just my thoughts on it.

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