Prince William used Father’s Day this year as a platform to help families: The Duke of Cambridge penned a message in partnership with the charity Heads Together to urge parents (and fathers especially) to check in with their children on their mental health.
“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,” he wrote in an open letter on Sunday.
“What we have seen time and time again is that so many of the issues that adolescents and adults are dealing with can be linked to unresolved childhood challenges—addicts that were not getting treatment for a serious psychological condition that started in their teens; men who committed suicide who had been depressed since they were in primary school; homeless teenagers who could not confront significant emotional challenges.”
The duke went on to urge parents to broach the topic of mental well-being in their children, citing recent surveys that found that parents—and particularly fathers—have failed to do so. “We know that fathers find asking for help harder than mothers. Less than a third of fathers say they believe that the emotional needs of their children is a fundamental priority,” he wrote.
“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,” he concluded.
Read the full, inspiring letter on headstogether.org.uk.