The Duchess of Cambridge has urged young people to express themselves through the arts to help their mental wellbeing during the coronavirus lockdown.
Ahead of Children’s Mental Health Week, Kate recorded a video message to encourage children and parents to share their thoughts and feelings, during such a “hugely challenging time for us all”.
The mum of three said: “This year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is all about expressing yourself – about finding creative ways in which to share your thoughts, ideas and feelings.
“So whether that’s through photography, through art, through drama, through music or poetry – it’s finding those things that makes you feel good about yourself.”
The future queen highlighted the crucial need for parents and carers to look after their own mental health while being in the country’s third lockdown, and pointed to the impact that this has on the children in their care.
Kate last week confessed to being left “exhausted” by homeschooling children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five and Prince Louis, two, during an online chat with parents over their experiences of lockdown.
She said: “I think as parents you’ve the day-to-day elements of being a parent, but I suppose during lockdown we have had to take on additional roles that perhaps others in our communities, or in our lives, would have perhaps supported us and helped us with.
“Personally, I feel pulled in so many different directions and you try your best with everything, but at the end of the day I do feel exhausted.”
The royal last year launched her landmark survey on the Early Years, ‘5 Big Questions on the Under-Fives’, which aimed to spark the biggest ever conversation on early childhood that will ultimately help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come.
The research revealed that whilst 90 per cent of people acknowledge that maintaining parental mental health is crucial to support the health and happiness of their child, in practice the majority of parents struggle to prioritise their own wellbeing.
Kate added: “There has never been a more important time to talk about parental wellbeing and mental health too.
“Last year you told me just how important this was that many of us find it hard to prioritise.
“This is a hugely challenging time for us all so please look after yourself too.
“Find those ways in which to share your thoughts and your feelings or find someone to talk to because we really do need to be the very best versions of ourselves for the children in our care.”
During the video message, Kate referenced the theme for this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week which is ‘Express Yourself’.
The week-long event which will see a range of digital programmes for youngsters to get involved with focuses on the creative ways children and adults can share feelings, thoughts or ideas through art, music, writing, poetry, dance, drama, photography and film, or just doing activities that make them feel good.
To begin this year’s activity, the charity has teamed up with BAFTA Kids and Oak National Academy to release a virtual assembly – available from 9am tomorrow.
The Assembly features pupils and well-known faces discussing the theme of the Week, as well as ways that children and young people can get involved at home.
-- to www.mirror.co.uk