Kate Middleton
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is given flowers as she arrives at the Harrow Club in London, Britain December 19, 2016. Reuters/Neil Hall

Kate Middleton, in the handful of years that she has been in the public eye, has wisely and sparingly used her influence on choice causes. One particular issue that she is passionate about is the mental health of children, which she recently proved on an official trip to the Mitchell Brooke Elementary School in London.

Both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in attendance on Monday as they kicked off Children’s Mental Health Week. They were welcomed with flag-waving children as well as a steel pan orchestra. The couple spent some time on the school’s “kindness bench,” which was where the children would sit if they were feeling lonely or in need of someone to play with. The act of sitting on the bench theoretically prompts other students to approach the child in order to make friends or just offer support.

While at the school, the 35-year-old mother of two discussed why she was so passionate about mental health and why she chose this to be one of her causes. “I am so interested in the mental health of children and young people… [because] I think that every child should have the best possible start in life,” she explained. She then went on to discuss how she was fortunate herself because she never had to deal with such adversities in her early life. Nevertheless, she knows that some children are not as lucky

“For some children -- maybe there are some here today -- I know that life can sometimes feel difficult and full of challenges,” she said. “I think every child should have people around them to show them love.” She then gave credit to Place2Be, one of the mental health charities that she fully supports, for the work that it has done for areas such as the elementary school.

She then touched on how important it is for children -- or anyone -- to speak with others especially when something is bothering them. She borrowed a metaphor from an 11-year-old she met, who was helped by Place2Be. “She told me that if you keep your feelings inside, you can feel as though you will blow up like a balloon,” the Duchess said. “But, by talking to someone about them, it can make you feel so much better.”


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