A couple of weeks ago, on Monday 17th February 2016, the week after Children’s Mental Health week 2016, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Huffington Post as guest editor for the day. She posted this article, highlighting the importance of discussing the mental health of children across the UK. Physical health and mental health are of equal importance, and the Duchess encouraged parents and carers to tackle these health challenges with their children whilst they are still young, to prevent a damaging impact on their futures. It was refreshing to hear her more personally make it clear that herself and William ‘would not hesitate’ to seek help for their children if they thought it necessary.

The growing conversation surrounding mental health and its backing from many well known names, such as the Duchess of Cambridge, is beginning to open doors for those who want to help make a difference, like ourselves. Young Minds Matter is one of the initiatives supported by the Duchess, which aims to get this conversation going and remove the stigma surrounding child mental health. Follow the hashtag #YoungMindsMatter to find out more about this global initiative.

Here at Phase, the team are working incredibly hard to take this conversation around mental health to the children and young people of Hitchin. Whilst we continue to meet with and support those students who are struggling, we are also trying to think of ways to start the conversation much earlier. Thinking of ways to create an environment in our schools where all children, from a young age, feel able to talk openly about emotions and mental health; from how to maintain positive mental health, to working out how to support a friend, and knowing who to speak to when might begin to struggle themselves. This engages everyone in the conversation, breaks taboos and opens avenues to support.