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Duchess of Cambridge pledges to help the ‘most vulnerable’ at Roe Green Infant and Junior School

PUBLISHED: 14:30 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:07 23 January 2018

The Duchess of Cambridge shares a class with Year 3 pupils. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The Duchess of Cambridge shares a class with Year 3 pupils. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The Duchess of Cambridge has said she is committed to helping the “youngest and most vulnerable” in society as she visited a Kingsbury primary school to launch a mental health website.

The Duchess of Cambridge giving a speech as she launches a mental health programme for schools. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA WireThe Duchess of Cambridge giving a speech as she launches a mental health programme for schools. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Kate made her pledge while visiting Roe Green Infant and Junior School in Princes Avenue, where after enjoying a lesson with pupils, she gave the green light to the online project.

Mentally Healthy Schools, a free website, is being piloted in 50 schools. It is coordinated and financed by the duchess’ Royal Foundation and part of the Heads Together campaign.

With more than 1,500 online resources, teachers and school staff are able to help pupils talk about their mental health issues.

Speaking to educational and mental health professionals Kate said: “I see time and time again that there is so much to be gained from talking of mental health and taking the mental health of our children as seriously as we do their physical health.

“When we intervene early in life, we help avoid problems that are much more challenging to address in adulthood.

“My own commitment is to the youngest and most vulnerable in their early years - babies, toddlers and schoolchildren - and to support all those who care for them.”

The website will draw together reliable and practical resources to improve awareness, knowledge and confidence in promoting and supporting pupils’ mental health.

The content will be provided in four main areas - teaching resources, risks and protective factors, mental health needs, and a whole school approach for school leaders.

The Heads Together campaign is jointly co-ordinated by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, with the aim to end stigma around mental health in the UK.

Kate, who is mother to George, four, and Charlotte, two, and is expecting her third child, added: “Teachers want to help, but don’t have the time to go hunting for the best information and advice out there. You need resources you can trust. And you need to have easy access to them at all times. That is what this pilot is all about.

“Led by the Royal Foundation, with close collaboration from our Heads Together partners, this new online resource will transform schools’ access to high-quality information, and guide teachers and school leaders towards the best support out there.”

Melissa Loosemore, headteacher of the Roe Green Infant and Junior School, said it was a “brilliant day”.

She added: “I knew Kate was coming last November but I couldn’t divulge it.

“The children have been learning Life a Happy Song ready to greet the Duchess and all 480 of them sang it to her.

“The project from the Royal Foundation is absolutely fantastic. We were chosen for the visit because of the work we have done in supporting children with mental health issues.

“Today has been a real milestone in launching the portal for Mentally Healthy Schools to enable teachers nationally to have resources to support young people with identifying mental health matters.

It brings together resources from Place to Be, Anna Freud and Young Minds. It’s been a brilliant day.”

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