Kate speaks out on motherhood ‘depression’ as Duchess takes on new royal role
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The Duchess of Cambridge, 40, made the comments in a video message to mark her new role as patron of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA). The patronage was announced during Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, which ends on Sunday.
In her message, Kate said that no mother is “immune to experiencing anxiety and depression”.
The mother-of-three added that it was crucial for those “struggling” to be given the “right support at the right time”.
The Duchess also urged society to play its part, saying everyone needed to help “parents and carers, and all those who are raising children today”.
The MMHA is a UK-wide charity and network of more than 100 organisations, working to ensure women and families affected by perinatal mental problems have access to high-quality comprehensive care and support.
Kate said Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week was about the “power and importance of connection” and how the past two years had reminded everyone about the role of relationships in long-term health and happiness, especially at the start of life for infants.
She added: “But we all know that pregnancy, childbirth and the first months and years of a child’s life can be hugely demanding.
“Parents often feel lonely and overwhelmed by these early years.
“Around 20 percent of women in the UK are reported to experience perinatal mental illness.
“Sadly, we also know that many more are suffering in silence.
“No one is immune to experiencing anxiety and depression during this time.
“It is crucial, therefore, that all those who might be struggling are given the right support at the right time, so that they’re able to share these feelings without fear of judgment and can access the information, care and support they need to recover.”
The MMHA’s Everyone’s Business campaign is calling for all women in the UK who experience mental health problems before, during and after pregnancy to receive the care and support their families need.
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The charity says around one in five women develop a mental health problem during pregnancy or within the early years after having a baby. It added that the pandemic had increased mental health risks new and expectant mothers face, which, if untreated, could have a devastating impact.
Kate went on to highlight how charities have been working together to raise awareness about these issues.
She said: “Much of this vital work has been led by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, a fantastic organisation of which I am extremely proud to become patron of today.
“There is plenty more to be done. And it’s down to each and every one of us to support parents and carers, and all those who are raising children today.
“Because by ensuring that the next generation of children can thrive, we can help to build a stronger, healthier and more nurturing society which benefits us all.”
Kate has made the early years development of children one of the main pillars of her public role.
Her latest patronage complements the work she is doing through her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.
The Duchess has also focused on mental health over the years, including championing the Heads Together campaign with Prince William and Prince Harry in 2017.
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