Mental health is a hugely important issue and it seems Prince William realises that more than most, as he’s issued an incredibly powerful Father’s Day message today on the subject.
The future king made a heartfelt plea to dads everywhere, asking them to talk openly about the mental health challenges families face.
Writing in an exclusive article in the Sunday Express, the Duke of Cambridge and dad-of-two urged fathers to focus on their children’s emotional needs and to ask for help themselves if they need it.
Today I celebrate my third Father’s Day as a father. For me it is a day not just to celebrate how fortunate I am for my young family, but to reflect on just how much I’ve learned about fatherhood and the issues facing fathers in all walks of life.
In particular, it is a time to reflect on my responsibility to look after not just the physical health of my two children, but to treat their mental needs as just as important a priority.
Less than a third of fathers say they believe that the emotional needs of their children is a fundamental priority.
It is often said that fathers can often find it hard to talk about their own feelings so there’s no wonder they struggle to speak to their son or daughter about the topic. But we don’t really have a choice.
I really believe that a child’s mental health is just as important as his or her physical health.
So on this Father’s Day, I encourage all fathers to take a moment to ask their children how they are doing. Take the opportunity to discuss how you are coping with life and fatherhood with your wife, partner or with your friends.
And know that if your son or daughter ever needs help, they need their father’s guidance and support just as much as they need their mother’s.
Given that suicide is the biggest cause of death among men in the UK under the age of 45, it is so important that guys talk about their issues and don’t struggle alone.
Credit to Prince William for speaking out about this incredibly important issue and using his significant influence to raise awareness.
If you or someone you know has mental health problems, do not suffer in silence.
The Samaritans offer a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI – this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.
HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41.