William: We want our children to express their feelings


The Duke of Cambridge has called for an end to the "stiff upper lip" culture, saying he wants Prince George and Princess Charlotte to be able to talk about their emotions.

It comes after Prime Minister Theresa May praised his brother Prince Harry for his bravery in revealing he sought counselling to come to terms with the death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

William also highlighted the importance of role models opening up about their mental health and welcomed grime artist Stormzy speaking out about suffering from depression.


He told charity publication CALMzine: "Catherine and I are clear we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings.

"Over the past year we have visited a number of schools together where we have been amazed listening to children talk about some quite difficult subjects in a clear and emotionally articulate way, something most adults would struggle with.

"Seeing this has really given me hope things are changing and there is a generation coming up who find it normal to talk openly about emotions."

He added: "The recent interview by Stormzy about his depression was incredibly powerful and will help young men feel that it's a sign of strength to talk about and look after your mind as well as your body.

"There may be a time and a place for the 'stiff upper lip', but not at the expense of your health."

Harry, who was 12 when Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris, said it was not until his late 20s that he processed his grief.

The Prime Minister said his decision to speak out would help "smash the stigma around mental health" while mental health charity Mind described it as a "true turning point".

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Harry, 32, said he spent nearly 20 years "not thinking" about her death and eventually got help after two years of "total chaos".

Responding to his comments, Mrs May said: "Mental health problems affect people of all ages and all backgrounds.

"The bravery of those in public positions who speak out about their experiences helps smash the stigma around mental health and will help thousands of people to realise they are not alone.

"If we are to tackle this injustice, we must forge a new approach that recognises our responsibility to each other, and make mental illness an everyday concern for all of us and in every one of our institutions."

Ministers are thought to be considering putting NHS professionals in secondary schools full-time, under plans understood to be part of a green paper on young people and mental health which will be published later this year.

A government spokesman said: "No child should suffer from mental health issues and we are investing a record £1.4billion to ensure all children get the help and support they need.

"We are strengthening the links between schools and NHS mental health staff and later this year will publish proposals for further improving services and preventative work."

Harry, who is spearheading the Heads Together mental health campaign alongside William and Kate, admitted that shutting down his emotions after losing his mother had "a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well".

He said he eventually sought help after his brother told him he needed to deal with his feelings.

"It was 20 years of not thinking about it and two years of total chaos," he explained.

But the Prince said that he was now in a "good place" because of the "process I have been through over the past two and a half years".

Harry will be joined by William on Tuesday to present an award in memory of their mother, in his first public appearance since speaking out about his experience.

The two brothers will present the inaugural Legacy Award on behalf of the Diana Award - a charity established to promote the Princess' belief in the positive power of young people - at a ceremony in St James's Palace, London.

Twenty exceptional young people who have excelled at creating positive social change will be recognised at the event.

The new award was launched as part of a year-long celebration of Diana's qualities of kindness, compassion and service, marking 20 years since her death.

William will also attend a screening of BBC documentary Mind Over Marathon, which follows a group of runners affected by mental health as they prepare for the London Marathon, on Tuesday.

Heads Together, an umbrella organisation for mental health charities, is the London Marathon's charity of the year.

The Duke and Duchess and Harry, who hope the race will be known as "the mental health marathon", will hand out medals on the finish line at the Mall on Sunday.

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