Speech by the Duchess of Cambridge at the Place2Be Awards
22 November 2016
It is a great honour to be with you here this evening for these very special Place2Be Awards.
Tonight, we are celebrating the truly remarkable work taking place across Place2Be schools in support of children’s mental health.
Without many of the inspiring people gathered here this evening, countless children would not receive the transformational support in their schools. It is because of so many of you here tonight that in their time of need, children have the help, care and attention that will get them through the tough times in their lives.
I am a firm believer that it is absolutely crucial to confront problems as early as possible, to prevent them from escalating into even greater issues later in life. This is why Place2Be’s work – prioritising children’s emotional wellbeing from the outset– is so important.
I have been privileged over recent years to visit a number of schools and to meet the teachers, volunteers, and parents who make Place2Be’s work a reality. Together, you ensure your students know they have somewhere to turn, someone who will listen, or simply a safe place to escape.
As you all recognise through your support of Place2Be, even the luckiest people can face great challenges. No matter how invincible we seem on the surface, all of us need help from time to time.
This is why William, Harry and I have set up the Heads Together campaign. We want to end the stigma surrounding mental health that stops people getting the help that and support that they so desperately need.
On a recent visit to Stewards Academy in Harlow, William and I were so impressed by the young people we met. I know that some of you are here tonight. I wanted to thank you again for sharing your stories with us; each of you had faced difficult times but had the courage to seek support and to speak openly about your experiences, encouraging others to do the same.
Our young Champion finalists here tonight are extraordinary. You have not only faced challenges, but you’ve had the resilience to overcome them. You have also, in your willingness to have open conversations, become young mental health pioneers.
So well done to you all. I cannot tell you how moved I have been to meet you all this evening. Thank you once again, and have a lovely night.