Prince William and Kate Middleton are traveling around the UK to promote World Mental Health Day and arrived in Birmingham on Tuesday to host a forum about supporting young people and the challenges they face.
The royal couple has used World Mental Health Day to publish the results of a survey about mental health that found “many young people feel that their friends are struggling with mental health issues.”
The survey conducted by the Royal Foundation found that around six in 10 16-24 year olds think it’s very important for young people to have greater awareness and understanding of social and emotional skills with nearly 40% feeling that they don’t manage their emotions very well currently. 95% of those surveyed said they think their peers are having some sort of problem with their mental health.
This afternoon, the Prince and Princess of Wales will host Exploring Our Emotional Worlds, a forum for young people in partnership with UK-based digital charity the Mix and BBC Radio 1. The event, held at Factory Works in Birmingham, will bring together 100 young delegates nominated by ten leading mental health and youth engagement charities to discuss how they manage their emotions and how they can be supported to build their resilience and maintain healthy relationships.
William and Kate have been at the forefront of raising mental health awareness since launching their Heads Together Charity back in 2016 (The Mix is also one of the charity partners behind Heads Together). William has revealed that putting mental health at the forefront of their agenda came largely from Kate and her experience working with young people with addictions.
“It was Catherine who first realized that all three of us were working on mental health in our individual areas of focus,” he said. “She had seen that at the core of adult issues like addiction and family breakdown, unresolved childhood mental health issues were often part of the problem.”
The groundbreaking campaign, which at the time included the support of Prince Harry, challenged the stigma around mental health and made it part of the national conversation. Last year William and Kate took part in a special episode of Radio 1’s program Newsbeat to mark World Mental Health Day.
According to a palace spokesman, the couple is “committed to helping find the solutions that will enable young people to better look after their own and each other’s well-being. Work is currently underway on the next phase of The Prince and Princess’ efforts on this vital issue.”
They added, “Their Royal Highnesses believe firmly that strengthening our ability to recognise and manage our emotions is essential to boosting our resilience and building the positive relationships we all need to thrive as individuals and as a society.”
Over the next two days, the Prince and Princess will travel around the UK meeting university students and emergency responders to learn more about the mental health challenges they face.