As she continues to highlight young people's mental well-being, Kate has had an "unprecedented" impact

By Simon Perry
Updated February 15, 2016 02:40 PM
Press Association

It may have only been 3 and a half minutes long but the video that Princess Kate made at a school to highlight what can be done for children’s mental health has had an astonishing impact.

It has had nearly half a million views on social networking sites, in 180 countries, and been broadcast on news programs around the world, making up a potential audience of millions.

“This is unprecedented coverage for our work,” says Benita Refson, President of Place2Be, the organization behind the video.

Place2Be is a key charity backed by Kate, 34, in her ongoing commitment to tackling mental health issues. Refson tells PEOPLE the royal mom is “extremely well-informed” about the issues. Those at Place2Be were thrilled they were able to make the film in a school so the children could ask her questions.

“It gave children the opportunity to talk about their attitudes towards emotional wellbeing and the chance to ask the Duchess about her own thoughts on Place2Be,” Refson says. “We are keen to ensure that the children’s own voices are listened to and this was a unique platform for them to speak out and be heard worldwide.”

Clearly, the children clearly enjoyed the experience: “I was really excited to meet the Duchess, my Nan was really excited for me too,” says Bailey-Rae, 7, says.

While Nimra, 10, tells PEOPLE: “I had the biggest smile on my face when she walked in and then I just kept on smiling. I couldn t stop.”

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Kate has seen the charity in action throughout more than a year of public and private visits, where she learned more about the importance of early intervention and raising the profile of those helping young people.

She has said that her interest in addiction was one of the main spurs for her to get involved.

“Hearing her speak about the issue clearly means so much to many people who have experienced stigma around their own, or their children’s, mental health issues and has given many the confidence to speak more openly about their situations – and to seek help and realizing that seeking help is a sign of strength not weakness,” Refson says.

The charity, which works in more than 250 schools and trains staff so they can understand a child’s behavior and help them to manage their emotions, made the film to open their annual Children’s Mental Health Week which came to a close on Sunday.

There has been an “overwhelming” response from schools which have embraced the charity’s resources, Refson says, “enabling children and teachers to discuss and learn more about resilience and how to ‘bounce forward’ from life’s knocks.”

There will no doubt be more in the coming months from Kate. Refson says she hopes that Kate will continue to “champion this important cause – an area that has been overlooked for so many years – and that she will continue to inspire people to talk openly, seek help and, as a result, for the stigma surrounding mental health issues to continue to diminish.”