Over the past few months, Prince William, along with Duchess Kate and Prince Harry, have made mental health issues a priority. A few weeks back they launched the Heads Together campaign, which they hope will be the beginning of the end of the stigma surrounding mental health.
In a letter for Heads Together that was released on Father’s Day, George and Charlotte‘s dad reflects on not only how much he’s learned about fatherhood and how lucky he is but also the “issues facing fathers in all walks of life.”
He adds, “In particular, it is a time to reflect on my responsibility to look after not just the physical health of my two children, but to treat their mental needs as just as important a priority.”
William drops some stats from recent surveys which found that over half of parents have never broached the topic of mental well-being with their children, with a third of them admitting they would feel like failures if their child needed help. Despite the progress that has been made, the prince acknowledges his disappointment over the fact that some parents would still be ashamed if their children suffered from a mental health problem. And that just shouldn’t be the case, insists William. It’s OK to ask for help because if ignored, mental health issues can affect the a child’s life forever.
“I encourage all fathers to take a moment to ask their children how they are doing,” he advises. “Take the opportunity to discuss how you are coping with life and fatherhood with your wife, partner or with your friends. And know that if your son or daughter ever needs help, they need their father’s guidance and support just as much as they need their mother’s.”
Let’s work to end the stigma, shall we? Because like Will says, “a child’s mental health is just as important as his or her physical health.” Yes, it’s an issue some people simply don’t want to deal with, but with all the resources at our disposal and knowing what we know now about the long-term effects, why wouldn’t you confront it head on?
— Heads Together (@heads_together) June 19, 2016