Prince William pens powerful Father's Day essay
The Duke of Cambridge emphasizes the importance of mental health in children, an advocacy close to his heart. Read the highlights here
Prince William is celebrating his third Father’s day in a special way; he recently wrote an essay to share the lessons he’s learned (so far) as well as a message on mental health, a cause which is near and dear to his heart.
“For me it is a day not just to celebrate how fortunate I am for my young family,” the Duke of Cambridge wrote on the U.K.’s Sunday Express. “But to reflect on just how much I’ve learned about fatherhood and the issues facing fathers in all walks of life. 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.”
He also talked about the recent Heads Together campaign which he launched with Duchess Kate and Prince Harry. Their goal was to raise awareness and correct the stigma behind mental health.
“I really believe that a child’s mental health is just as important as his or her physical health,” he wrote. “What we have seen time and time again is that so many of the issues that adolescents and adults are dealing with can be linked to unresolved childhood challenges.”
He acknowledges that each situation is unique; many of those with mental health problems could have benefited greatly from simply being to talk openly about their struggles in their own home.
More on Prince William’s mental health advocacy on the next page
“No parent whose child needs help is a failure,” he reassures his fellow parents.
He cites recent statistics and expresses how their findings “disheartened” him. One study found that “more than half of parents never raised the topic of mental health to their children, and third of those parents would feel like a ‘failure’ if their child needed help.”
“That’s so sad. Taking the next step and actually getting help is what matters,” he said. “We know that fathers find asking for help harder than mothers.”
He ended by urging his fellow dads to truly get involved in their children’s mental well-being. “On this Father’s Day, I encourage all fathers to take a moment to ask their children how they are doing,” he wrote.
Adding that parents should also be aware of their own mental health and to get help when needed. “Take the opportunity to 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.”
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