The Duchess of Cambridge is continuing her family's legacy of mental health advocacy, this time addressing the issues mothers face, specifically. On Thursday, Kate Middleton talked about motherhood and mental health, preaching transparency and leading by example as the primary ways to alleviate the suffering of many. Sharing that "two in ten women will suffer from pregnancy-related mental issues, such as postpartum depression," Middleton was open with the challenges she's had to face in caring for 3-year-old Prince George and 1-year-old Princess Charlotte.
"Becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience," Middleton affirmed in her speech. "However, at times it has also been a huge challenge — even for me who has support at home that most mothers do not," she revealed. After acknowledging her privilege, Middleton continued to speak to the unpredictability of motherhood sharing that, most of the time, "you just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family" — a goal that can easily "lead to lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance."
From there, Middleton encouraged openness and honesty for moms who are struggling, and stressed that mothers shouldn't be afraid to ask for help. She noted that mental and physical health aren't all that different, saying:
If any of us caught a fever during pregnancy, we would seek advice and support from a doctor. Getting help with our mental health is no different— our children need us to look after ourselves and get the support we need.
The event at which Middleton was speaking, hosted by the charity Best Beginnings, was a celebration for the charity's new series of films that focus specifically on maternal mental health. Called "Out of the Blue," Best Beginnings' series addresses a wide range of supportive content in short film and documentary formats. Its website explains that some of the films aid in "understand[ing] your baby and support bonding, and support[ing] your baby's brain development," while 64 other short films work to "support your mental health in pregnancy and after your baby is born."
This isn't the first mental health charity that Middleton has supported — she, along with Princes Harry and William, have a mental health foundation of their own. Their work on Heads Together echoes a lot of the sentiments Middleton voiced in her speech; "Mental health is just as important as physical health," she asserted in a PSA for the group.
Her devotion to this cause, consistent message, and support of charities that provide tangible resources for mothers seeking mental health solutions shows that Middleton is a true advocate. Keeping the conversation going is key to achieving the overall goal of mental health awareness and reducing stigma. For many mothers, hearing Middleton voice these concerns was a much-needed, personal breath of fresh air.