Kate joins top academics and charities at meeting on children's mental health

The Duchess of Cambridge has joined a symposium of leading academics and charities discussing ways of making children more emotional and mentally resilient to help them in later life.

Kate's Royal Foundation has organised the event in central London at the Royal Society of Medicine and chaired by the institution's president, Professor Sir Simon Wessely.

The royal, who is expecting her third child in April, arrived wearing a green coat by Jenny Packham with her baby bump clearly visible.

Sir Simon introduced the conference by telling delegates: "We can spend an awful lot of time doing what my friends in the military say is 'admiring the problem'. Indeed it's right we should do that...to look at the links between childhood adversity and adult mental health problems.

"But the real question and the question that most of today is going to be about is what can we do about it? And the answer is rather more than we used to."

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives for a conference at the Royal Society of Medicine (Victoria Jones/PA)
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives for a conference at the Royal Society of Medicine (Victoria Jones/PA)

The duchess has a strong interest in the issue of providing a solid social and emotional platform for youngsters at the start of their lives, to equip them for the challenges of later life and avoid mental and psychological problems.

Her curiosity about the subject was triggered from her interest in issues like addiction, the effects of family breakdown, and her visits to charities and support organisations.

Kate has been struck time and again that so many of society's greatest social and health challenges often stem from problems that start to manifest themselves in the earliest years in life.

The event has brought together academics, researchers, practitioners, educators and charities to explore issues such as perinatal, maternal and infant mental health, parenting support and advice, and resources for schools and educators.

The duchess has been exploring these issues on an individual basis through a number of engagements and round table discussions in recent months.