The Telegraph reports that in a specially-recorded video message, the duchess will also call upon parents and teachers to “give children the emotional strength” they need to “fulfil their true potential”.
Her intervention comes amid a push to identify mental illness early in schools and offset problems in adulthood. It is feared children are suffering from low self-esteem exacerbated by pressures placed upon them on social media.
The duchess’s comments were recorded to promote the children’s charity Place2Be, of which she is patron, and coincide with Children’s Mental Health Week 2018.
The duchess has – along with Prince William and Prince Harry – thrust mental health to the forefront of their charitable work. The trio have been heavily involved in the Heads Together campaign – highlighted by the Telegraph – while last month the duchess said in a landmark speech that her “own commitment is to the youngest and most vulnerable in their early years – babies, toddlers and school-children”.
Low self-esteem affects more than eight in 10 of the pupils who get Place2Be’s one-to-one help. According to the charity, the back-up it gives can help boost confidence and enable children to cope better in and out of school.
The duchess said: “Some children will be facing tougher challenges than others, but I firmly believe that while we cannot change their circumstances, we can ensure that every child is given the best possible support to ensure they fulfil their true potential.”
Catherine Roche, Place2Be chief executive, said: “We know from our work in schools that some children find it difficult to think of themselves positively, as it’s all too easy nowadays to compare ourselves negatively to others, especially online.”
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