Princess Kate got personal during a visit to a London school as part of her children’s charity on Monday.
The 35-year-old mom of two visited the Mitchell Brook Primary School in Neasden alongside husband Prince William where she spoke to a group of kids about the importance of Children’s Mental Health Week — and why the cause means so much to her.
“People often ask me why I am so interested in the mental health of children and young people,” she began. “The answer is quite simple: it is because I think that every child should have the best possible start in life.”
The couple is kicking off Children’s Mental Health Week, run by Place2Be. The royals attended the charity’s first Big Assembly, watched a choir perform, met kids and staff and Kate awarded a Place2Be ‘Kindness Cup’ to a special child.
The mother of two recalled her own upbringing during her address to the children, revealing that she hopes to pass the many lessons her parents taught her on to her children 1-year-old Princess Charlotte and Prince George, 3.
“My parents taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect and honesty. I realize how central values like these have been to me throughout my life,” she said.
“That is why William and I want to teach our little children, George and Charlotte, just how important these things are as they grow up,” she said.
William and Kate sat on tiny chairs in the school’s library as they listened to a group of children talk to them about how they rely on each other and their counselors for support.
William asked the group, “Is being able to tell each other your worries, and the ability to keep a secret, most important?”
While Kate asked, “Is it really important to have people around you who you can trust? And do you feel you can trust Place2Be?”
They all said “yes.”
Kate praised the kids for having a buddy that they can trust and share heir feelings with.
“It’s great to be as articulate as you all are and understand the importance of your feelings,” she said.
William added, “There are grown-ups who would not be as able to say what you have said. It’s impressive.”
During the week, Place2Be is encouraging children to “spread a little kindness” in their schools and at home by looking out for classmates who may be having a difficult time, listening to how they feel, and if they need it, asking an adult for help.
“We all know someone whose gone through a tough time, and it can be hard to know what to do to help, especially where children are involved,” charity chief executive Catherine Roche tells PEOPLE.
Kate became patron of the charity in 2013 and has headed up publicity for their Children’s Mental Health week with video messages and visits since. Officials praised Kate for sparking, what they called, a “sea change” in how kids’ mental health is being addressed.
“We can see how this is becoming an issue that is being publicly discussed,” the chief executive of Place2Be, Roche told PEOPLE on the eve of the campaigning week.
“It is clear that [she] has a genuine passion for, and truly understands, the importance of providing early intervention mental health support to children and young people, and the positive impact this can have on a child’s personal development.”
Place2Be is a leading U.K. children’s mental health charity, providing in-school support and expert training to improve the emotional well-being of pupils, families, teachers and school staff. It works directly with more than 282 primary and secondary schools across Wales, Scotland and England, reaching a school population of over 116,000 pupils.
Prince William and Princess Kate Support Grieving Families
Place2Be is one of the charity partners of the Heads Together campaign that the couple set up alongside Prince Harry – and the royal trio spent Sunday helping give some moral support and do some sprinting of their own at a training day for marathon runners who’ll be raising money and awareness for the cause at the London race in April.