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Prince William opens up about children's mental health in Father's Day message

Published 20/06/2016

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, and Prince William
Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, and Prince William

The British royal is working with the Heads Together campaign.

Prince William wants his children to feel comfortable talking to him about any issues they are having because he knows their mental health is just as important as how they feel physically.

The British royal, who is dad to two-year-old son George and one-year-old daughter Charlotte, is working with organisers for the Heads Together campaign, stressing the importance of checking in with his family to make sure they are thriving in all aspects.

"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 says in a Father's Day message for the campaign on Sunday (19Jun16).

"Take a moment to ask your children how they are doing. Take the opportunity 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."

Prince William recently became the first member of the royal family to appear on the cover of leading LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) magazine, Attitude, and in the accompanying article, he spoke about his views on homophobia, stating, "No one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason."

In his new message, Prince William is building on that belief, explaining many issues people experience as adults can be linked to problems they had in their adolescence, including addiction and psychological conditions.

"Along with Catherine (wife the Duchess of Cambridge) and (Prince) Harry, I have been spending a lot of time working on issues around mental health," he continues. "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 - addicts that were not getting treatment for a serious psychological condition that started in their teens; men who committed suicide who had been depressed since they were in primary school; homeless teenagers who could not confront significant emotional challenges."

"While the circumstances of any one situation are unique, it is clear that many families could have been helped if they had found it easier to talk openly about mental health challenges in the home," he adds. "And I have been really disheartened to learn that even with all the progress made in recent years, many parents would still be ashamed if their children had a mental health problem."

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