One week after launching Shaping Us, a new initiative about the importance of early childhood education, Catherine, Princess of Wales is drawing attention to another aspect of her work for Britain’s young people. In a new video to promote Children’s Mental Health Week, Kate joined a group of schoolchildren to show off a few of her craft skills and talk about this year’s theme for the week, “Let’s Connect.”
The princess asked students from St. John’s Church of England Primary School in Bethnal Green to talk about the importance of friendship and had them explain a color-coded emotions chart. “Thank you for having a chat with me today,” she said. “Keep talking about your feelings and keep asking others how they’re doing.”
In the video, Kate explained the importance of teaching children how to communicate about their emotions. “I’m a firm believer in giving young children the skills they need for life and focusing on their social and emotional development,” she said.
Children’s Mental Health Week was founded by the mental health charity Place2Be in 2015, and Kate has been a supporter of the organization ever since. Last week, Place2Be released a report that said 78 percent of children who sought mental health care struggled with social anxiety, but one-on-one support from a counselor does make a difference.
“We are delighted to have the support of our royal patron, HRH The Princess of Wales, to help shine a spotlight on the importance of supporting mental health from an early age,” said the organization’s CEO, Catherine Roche. “As the children of St John’s Primary have shown, taking part in activities and having positive conversations that help us connect with others, make us feel so much better.”
Over the weekend, Kate also shared baby photos of herself to her social media accounts, along with a personal note signed “C,” as a part of the Shaping Us campaign. “On Tuesday we launched #ShapingUs to raise awareness of the vital role our early years play in shaping the rest of our lives,” it read. “This weekend, we’d love for you all to spend time with your friends, families, colleagues and communities talking about your early childhoods and how they’ve shaped your lives.”