Kate Middleton Makes Rare Video Appearance to Open Up About Mental Health

Sep 19, 2017 at 12:45 p.m. ET
Image: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

While the former Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge is used to being in the public eye, she usually doesn’t step into the spotlight herself. A rare exception to that came this week when she provided the introduction to a video on mental health.

The animated film, created by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, which is based in the U.K., features illustrations and voices from schoolchildren highlighting the importance of taking care of your mental health.

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The Duchess of Cambridge, who is a patron of the organization, opened the video by telling viewers that mental health “is how we feel and think” and “things that can’t really be seen but that affect us every day, and talking about them can feel difficult.”

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The short film, which is geared toward school-age children, stresses the importance of talking about mental health and listening to those who may be struggling.

"It helps us all to talk about our mental health: what to say and who to talk to when we have feelings that are too big to manage on our own," Kate said in the video, "and how to listen and help if one of our friends is finding things difficult. Sometimes it's just a simple conversation that can make things better."

The video goes on to talk about the difference between “small feelings” (like temporarily feeling happy, sad or mad about something) and “big feelings” that stick around for long periods of time and affect a person’s everyday life.

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And while there are increasing numbers of resources letting us know that it’s OK to open up about our feelings and mental health struggles, this animated film goes one step further, talking about the importance of listening to others who may need to talk about their own mental health, even providing suggestions on how to be a good listener (like leaning toward the person or sitting next to them).

Introducing this video isn’t Kate’s first foray into the mental health discussion: The duchess previously worked with her husband, Prince William, and brother-in-law, Prince Harry, as part of the Heads Together campaign for mental health. She has also spoken about her own struggles with loneliness after becoming a mother.

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