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Princess Kate Says She Hopes to 'Encourage George and Charlotte to Speak About Their Feelings'

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Children’s mental health is a cause close to the heart of Princess Kate – and that extends to her own kids, 2-year-old Prince George and 9-month-old Princess Charlotte.

William and I would not hesitate to seek help for our children if they needed it,” Kate said Wednesday morning in a blog post publicizing the launch of Young Minds Matter, a new initiative exploring the causes and treatment of children’s mental health problems.

“We hope to encourage George and Charlotte to speak about their feelings, and to give them the tools and sensitivity to be supportive peers to their friends as they get older,” she wrote in a post for Huffington Post UK.

“We know there is no shame in a young child struggling with their emotions or suffering from a mental illness.”

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Pairing a Reiss top with a Dolce & Gabbana skirt, Kate hosted the outlet at Kensington Palace as a “guest editor” on Wednesday to continue her mental health campaign. She has supported charities such as Place2Be and MIND since her 2011 wedding to Prince William.

Princess Kate
“Shortly after I got married, I started working with charities helping those affected by issues such as addiction, family breakdown and vulnerable children,” Kate adds in the post.

“It became clear to me that many children – even those younger than five – have to deal with complex problems without the emotional resilience, language or confidence to ask for help. And it was also clear that with mental health problems still being such a taboo, many adults are often too afraid to ask for help for the children in their care. It’s time for this to change.”

Today she announced that she would take this one step further by becoming patron of the Anna Freud Centre, a mental health charity she visited in December for a special Christmas Party.

“I’m particularly proud because I have come to recognize just how knowledgeable she is in relation to what is a complex and difficult issue,” Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, says in a statement.

First Lady Michelle Obama added her own support to the campaign, expressing her desire that mental health issues be taken more seriously in the U.S. in combination with Change Direction.

“We need to step up for people in our lives,” Mrs. Obama wrote. “We need to learn to identify the signs of mental-health issues. We need to have the courage to reach out and have tough conversations with our friends and family members – and get help ourselves when we need it. And we need to recognize that our mental health is just as important as our physical health, and start treating it that way.”