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'I really believe that a child's mental health is just as important as his or her physical health.'
Prince William has encouraged fathers to remember the importance of their children’s mental health this father’s day.
In the letter published by nonprofit organisation Heads Together yesterday, he wrote: ‘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 have 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.’
It’s the Duke of Cambridge’s third father’s day to future heir Prince George, almost three, and Princess Charlotte, one.
He also said that he, wife Catherine, and Prince Harry have all seen that many mental health problems could be avoided if families found it easier to talk about these things openly at home. Over half of families have never discussed mental health with their children and a third would feel like a failure if their child needed help.
‘That’s so sad,’ he said, ‘no parent whose child needs help is a failure. Taking the next step and actually getting help is what matters.’
William ended his letter with a heartfelt message to fathers around the world.
‘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.’
Dad of the year? Quite possibly.