Duchess of Cambridge to visit NHS unit caring for mothers with mental health issues

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The Duchess of Cambridge will meet mothers being treated for mental health conditions when she visits a specialist NHS unit caring for the women alongside their children.

Kate will tour the Mother and Baby Unit at the Bethlem Royal Hospital in south-east London on Wednesday to chat to the clinicians and patients and learn more about the issues surrounding maternal mental health.

Ahead of the visit to the hospital unit in Beckenham the Duchess will travel to King's College London's Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute.

The unit is a key research facility in the university's efforts to fast-track new treatments to patients affected by conditions like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and epilepsy.

The work undertaken by the academics at the leading teaching and research university is likely to find practical use helping to treat mothers at the Bethlem Royal Hospital.

Kate will visit a laboratory at the institute, part of King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, to receive a briefing on its work in perinatal research - study surrounding the time of a child's birth - before meeting senior academics conducting research in perinatal psychiatry.

In a speech on Tuesday, Kate said she was committed to helping the "youngest and most vulnerable" when she launched the pilot of a new mental health website aimed at providing resources for primary school teachers supporting their pupils.

The visits are part of the duchess's desire to continue to develop her understanding of the challenges and issues surrounding maternal mental health, to learn what support is available, and to hear first-hand about the science underpinning our understanding of the biological influences on maternal mental health.