Princess Kate continued her mission to spread awareness about mental health and the organizations offering support to those in crisis by joining a mom-and-baby group to talk one-on-one with parents about the problems they’re facing.
On Wednesday, the royal visited the Colham Manor Children’s Centre in Hillingdon, a borough of London, in her capacity as patron of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, a network composed of 120 organizations helping women, families, and children gain access to the care and support they need. Kate was there to see firsthand how this organization is positively impacting the lives of those families navigating perinatal mental health issues. During her trip, the Princess of Wales also joined in on a mother-and-baby group where she chatted with mothers and other parents who are being supported by two MMHA groups, Home-Start and Birth Companions. This patronage also combines two of Kate’s principal charitable causes, mental health and early childhood development.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Kensington Palace said, “The MMHA brings the perinatal mental health community together and makes change happen by combining the power of real-life experience with clinical and professional expertise,” adding that the organization seeks to support mothers at every stage in the process of childcare, before, during, and after pregnancy. In a post shared on Kate and her husband Prince William‘s official Twitter account following the visit, their office added, “A wonderful first visit with the Maternal Mental Health Alliance this morning, seeing its work and the benefit a holistic approach brings to so many mothers and families. Spending some time with new mothers, understanding more about their experiences of mental health and how integrated services are making a real difference in the community.”
Later on, Kate was also joined by psychiatry professionals, midwives, and social workers focused on perinatal care for a roundtable talk about how they can best support and meet the needs of these vulnerable families, and continue to improve their services going forward. At one point during the meeting, the princess knelt down to speak with 3-year-old Akeem who asked her what her name is. “My name is Catherine,” she told the boy, who replied, “Okay!” Judging by a video of that moment shared on Twitter by Sky News royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills, Akeem seemed to be much more interested in the royal’s poppy pin than her name. Kate took it off her coat and offered it to the boy to keep for himself. She asked, “Do you know what this is for? It’s for remembering all the soldiers who died in the war,” before adding, “There you go—that’s for you.”
The Princess of Wales was announced as patron of the MMHA in May of this year. The royal said in a video message at the time, “We all know that pregnancy, childbirth and the first months and years of a child’s life can be hugely demanding. Parents often feel lonely and overwhelmed by these early years. Around 20% of women in the U.K. are reported to experience perinatal mental illness. Sadly, we also know that many more are suffering in silence. No one is immune to experiencing anxiety and depression during this time. It is crucial, therefore, that all those who might be struggling are given the right support at the right time, so that they’re able to share these feelings without fear of judgment and can access the information, care and support they need to recover.”
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