Princess Kate stepped back into royal duty on Wednesday when she visited one of the key charities in her kids’ mental health campaign.
The royal took to London’s Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families to highlight early intervention for young children with mental health issues.
The royal mom of two heard from a group of mothers who underwent a program at the center to help them with issues like abuse and addiction.
“Parenting is tough,” she said. “And with the history and all the things and the experiences you’ve all witnessed, to do that on top of your own anxieties, and the lack of support you also received as mothers…I find it extraordinary how you’ve managed actually.”
The royal can appreciate life as a busy mom, admitting she just left a full house of her own.
“I did just leave a room of six under threes,” she said, smiling, when she was asked if she was braced to spend the morning with a group of children under 5.
Kate, who celebrated her 35th birthday surrounded by family and friends in Norfolk last weekend, was praised as an “inspiration” by staff and families alike, as her campaign garners attention around the world.
The 35-year-old royal saw first-hand how the Early Years Parenting Unit (EYPU) aims to keep families together by offering an assessment and treatment program for groups of parents with personality disorders and their children who are at risk of being taken out of the parents’ custody.
The group works to address the parents’ personality disorders, children’s developmental needs, and the parent-child relationship.
In a statement, Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of the center, said, “We are delighted that Her Royal Highness shares our passion for offering support to parents, as early as possible in the child’s life.”
He added, “We are very happy that Her Royal Highness is meeting parents from two of our flagship early intervention services. Her visit is an inspiration to the staff and reinforces the commitment of the families to work to increase their babies’ chances of a resilient future.
“But more important, by bringing attention to the real difference that early years programmes can make, The Duchess is stimulating interest in similar services throughout the country and right across the world.”
The visit underlined what the charity called Kate’s continued desire to draw attention to child mental health issues, the importance of early intervention and working with the entire family.
Kate met with parents who have completed the program and heard the stories behind what brought them to the center. She also saw a “theraplay” session, which promotes the attachment relationship between parents and children.
The princess met families who have benefited from the center’s early years service, Parent Infant Psychotherapy (PIP) which supports expecting and new parents.