Friday, 6 May 2022

The Duchess Becomes Patron of Maternal Mental Health Alliance

The Duchess of Cambridge has said "no mother is immune to experiencing anxiety and depression" in a video to mark her new role as patron of Maternal Mental Health Alliance and to mark Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week. In the video, recently recorded at Kensington Palace, the Duchess said: "We all know that pregnancy, childbirth and the first months and years of a child's life can be hugely demanding. Parents often feel lonely and overwhelmed by these early years. Around 20% of women in the UK are reported to experience perinatal mental illness. Sadly, we also know that many more are suffering in silence."

The Duchess said families should not face difficulties "alone", adding, "The past couple of years have reminded us just how much we need each other, and how vital our relationships are to our long-term health and happiness. This starts in the earliest years of our lives, when we need close and continuous care from the people around us, to nurture our development, and ensure that we get the right start in life. We all know that pregnancy, childbirth and the first months and years of a child's life can be hugely demanding. Parents often feel lonely and overwhelmed by these early years."

On her new patronage, Kate said: "Much of this vital work has been led by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, a fantastic organization of which I am extremely proud to become patron of today. There is plenty more to be done. And it's down to each and every one of us to support parents and carers, and all those who are raising children today, because by ensuring that the next generation of children can thrive, we can help to build a stronger, healthier and more nurturing society which benefits us all."

More from Sky News:

'Luciana Berger, chair of the MMHA which was founded in 2011, said the organisation is "honoured" Kate has become their patron.

She added: "The duchess's longstanding dedication to the early years and keen interest in mental health marry beautifully with the alliance's mission to ensure every mum, baby and family affected by perinatal mental health problems can access the right care and support necessary.

"We look forward to working with the duchess to make this goal a reality for all."'

Maternal mental health has been an area of interest for the Duchess for years and more recently featured in her research surrounding early years. In 2017, the Duchess attended the launch of maternal mental health films with Heads Together charity partner Best Beginnings at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London. Drawing on her own experiences as a mother, the Duchess admitted to a lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance as a mother. "It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together.  Your fundamental identity changes overnight.  You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost."

Also in 2017, Kate hosted a roundtable discussion on maternal mental health at Kensington Palace with the Royal Foundation. At the time a Palace spokesperson said: "The Duchess is keen to develop an understanding of the issues surrounding maternal mental health, and to learn what support is available. At least 20% of women are affected by mental health problems during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child. If left untreated, maternal mental health problems can have significant and long lasting effect on the woman and her family. The Duchess has spoken about the importance of having open conversations about maternal health, and the impact this can have on family."


The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) is a UK-wide charity and network of over 100 organizations dedicated to ensuring women and families affected by perinatal mental problems have access to high-quality comprehensive care and support. We bring the maternal mental health community together and make change happen by combining the power of real-life experience with clinical and professional expertise.

The organization recently published the results of a report researching the economic case for increasing access to treatment for women with common maternal mental health problems. Below a portion of the summary:

  • Independent research commissioned by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) in 2021 and conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), estimates the costs and benefits of addressing unmet maternal mental health needs in the UK.
  • LSE’s researchers found that changes in practice could have a net economic benefit of half a billion pounds over ten years; £52 million in NHS savings and quality of life improvements worth £437 million. Read more about the numbers.
  • The proposed ‘integrated model of care’ would see mental health care for common mental health problems integrated into maternity and health visiting services. Learn more about the model.
  • Additionally, the MMHA commissioned Centre for Mental Health to summarize the research and analyse its implications for policy and practice. In their report, ‘A sound investment’, the Centre concluded that an ‘integrated model of care’ is the logical and economical next step in the evolution of perinatal mental healthcare in the UK.
The Duchess wore the Max Mara Studio Zaza dress (with thanks to Middleton Maven). The printed crepe de chine dress features long sleeves and cuff-embellishment. The bodice and sleeves are decorated with hemstitch embroidery.


Kate accessorised with pearl earrings.

39 comments:

  1. HRH Gorgeous as always and a very important message. In the video package I see The Duchess wearing a skivvy and some leopard print skirt? When was this taken? I must have missed it over the years….Thanku

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  2. Such a perfect match this patronage to Kates on going work with mental health and a childs early years, she will be wonderful in this role. A very pretty dress and her hair looking lovely.

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  3. Zora from Prague6 May 2022 at 09:50

    Well done, Kate - such an important subject, and it's only logical that after several years of working in this field, the Duchess has become patron. She also looks very nice and fresh, I like the dress on her, it's a sort of classical look that works well in the video. Thank you, Charlotte!

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    1. I think this dress works very well in the video too Zora! It's not as impressive in the photo with the model, but it works on Kate, quietly understated. I also think that these dresses are part of her "everyday run the kids to school" kind of looks. Also, her side part hair is spot on! The patronage is a perfect fit for the Duchess and she will be a wonderful patron.

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    2. The Duchess has grown into her role and is a much more confident speaker than she used to be. She was wise to choose just a few areas to specialise in rather than have hundreds of patronages as the Queen still does. It makes her involvement in her charities much more meaningful. I am a huge fan of hers, but don't normally comment on what she is wearing as it is so much a matter of personal taste and so many others are doing it anyway. ( It is amusing to see the divergence of opinion on this blog about her outfits.) . One minor thing which grates with me. She has developed a very "refined" accent as heard in this dvd which is clearly different from the way she spoke when she first appeared on the scene. I checked back with the engagement interview and it shows her speaking in a much more neutral tone at that time. Neither William or Harry, nor other younger Royals use this so-called "posh" accent and I wonder if it shows she is unconsciously trying to emulate the Queen's more aristocratic accent? It is a pity because it distances her from us ordinary folk with our varying accents from different parts of the globe. .Annette New Zealand . . .

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    3. Susan in Florida10 May 2022 at 04:49

      Maybe she took classes to speak better ? Speech and Diction classes will change your sound and the pronunciation of some words as you relearn them.

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  4. While I do love the Duchess support for early years charities and programs I have to say though that she sometimes underestimated the worries, anxiety and fears that accompany parents of older children. “Little children- little worries, big children- big worries” is a very true saying. I have a toddler and already see the truth in it. That’s not to say she needs to widen her approach. Her campaigning for the Early Years has many important angles and no one can impactful campaign for everything. It’s a great focus and small enough to really do in depth work instead of superficial lip service or one offs. She could just be more careful in phrasing sometimes.
    I hate the dress, BUT we only see the top on Kate and in this shot it looks great. Like a nice, well fitted blouse.

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    1. I think your points are valid, but I wonder if Kate is focused on this age range due to the ages of the Cambridge children. Her focus may change or widen in a few years as their children age.

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  5. How beautiful is she...

    DP

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  6. I've been a huge Max Mara fan ever since I first lived in Italy in the 80s and used to sigh longingly at Max Mara's windows in Parma and Rome; I still own and wear a couple of MM pieces I managed to buy then and now have several others. However, this is one of the floral midi dresses of which the Duchess owns so many and of which I've grown rather tired. I realize that she's had to develop a sort of "uniform" for various types of events and activities, so that her wardrobe has inevitably acquired a certain predictability, but this sort of thing is not my cup of tea. Just uninteresting and rather dowdy. I've nothing further to say.

    Except on the subject of the patronage, which is hugely important. It's been heartening to see the growth, in recent years, of understanding of mental health problems associated with pregnancy and childbirth. So much ignorance has existed that many women were just not getting the help they needed. I knew a woman who committed suicide while suffering from post-partum psychosis. Her husband -- a doctor! -- had never heard of post-partum mental health problems. This cause is close to my heart. I'm very glad to see the Duchess involve herself in it.

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  7. Did anyone else notice the very impressive orchid in the background (if it’s in fact real and not faux!).

    Sorry Charlotte for commenting as anonymous, I usually comment under the name Penny but the comment box has changed and won’t let me enter a name anymore.

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    1. I noticed and was impressed, too.

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    2. I noticed it too, it is impressive! Lovely color and size, and it looks to be in just the right spot too! Wish she could share some plant tips, as I have many orchids but to get them to rebloom again is not easy!

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    3. Hi, because they have greenhouses in the Palace. A long time ago there was a heated orchid room. First tip, repot the orchid. I used a mixture of bark and vermiculite. You can buy potting mix as well. The orchid I have was my Mother's and I noticed it was dying. I really didn't want to loose it because she loved it. It was rotting in the compost it came in. I use the roots as a guide for watering. Only water when roots are white. Soak it but don't leave it sitting in water. Try feeding every few weeks. S. ☺

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    4. I noticed the orchid too! :) And I was also trying figure out if it was real or fake. Are fake orchids staked though? This one looks like the flowers are staked to keep from falling over. I've been able to successfully grow orchids in the last few years, but that's only because I now live in South Florida and can keep them outside year-round. I wouldn't know how to grow them in a colder climate, although I'm sure Kate has gardeners and a green house to grow them in until they are blooming and then bring the plant inside for decoration.

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    5. Thank you so much for the tips Anon 17:54. I'll give them a try!

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    6. Do and I forgot to add, it worked a treat. New roots in about two weeks and started growing again. Also check out you tube. Very good tips on there. S. ☺

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  8. I really like what Kate said for this cause and that she openly spoke about what can motherhood bring along joys and happiness..Yes there can be struggles. Using words as 'lonely, alone, overwhelming, demanding' related to motherhood/parenting still seems a taboo...Therefore, I am so pleased she spoke about it! Thank you.

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  9. I forgot to sign my previous post about motherhood and the 'taboos words'... BTW, I am not a fan of this type of hairstyle, but I love the dress!

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    1. Stella, I see you are from Italy. I am an oldie from the U.S. As a child in the late 1960's, all the neighborhood teenage girl would set their hair on soup cans. Yes, soup cans! This is the look after their hair would dry. I like the look and it brings back memories.

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    2. I agree G.A., I like this look and I do remember my mother using the soup cans and then she switched to those mega stackable rollers....reminds me of my mother, who looked a little like Elizabeth Montgomery and had her beautiful hair style!

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  10. I love this new patronage. I had PND with my 1st and 3rd babies, and the second time it was incredibly difficult for my children. I've been well for 4 years now but the affects can still be seen sometimes. It's important that women feel able to talk about their experiences in this area, and that we're supported. Hopefully the work these organisations do can help more families like mine.

    Sartorially, I love this dress. It's very pretty.

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    1. Susan in Florida9 May 2022 at 19:19

      Thank you Charlotte. We can still read the posts and you know we appreciate them. 🌹❤️

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  11. I am so sorry about the blogger issues at the moment. I've sent multiple emails on the commenting issue and hope to have answers in the coming days.

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    1. Also you used to be able to preview your comments before posting. You can't any more. Thanks Charlotte. S. ☺

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  12. I am pleased she will be Patron of this organization they do very good work.. Glad people who need help will get it, without being in a bind, if they should ask for help or not. It is sad that in todays Society, people still have a Stigma attached to this illness. I like this dress it is simple and just right for this visit. I believe understated is sometimes better then overdoing it. I wish her great success with her work.

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  13. NovemberNanny6 May 2022 at 23:01

    Hi Charlotte, I have been silently following. I have tried a few times to chime in with the comments but they do not seem to go thru. Maybe this time it will work.
    I think this is a very fitting and important patronage for the Duchess. And I am in the loving her straighter hair camp. Maybe because I am always trying to tame my own curly locks.

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  14. The Duchess is doing so well, she looks lovely

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  15. Bravo to The Duchess. Another very important issue to highlight. It's so important that young Mothers get all the support that they need. Going on her previous work, I'm sure we will be hearing a lot more about this. S. ☺

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  16. What a great cause to champion & in her wheelhouse at the moment with her children's ages. Love the dress but her hair is way to long to have much style.

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  17. Lovely post. Lovely Kate.
    Tedi

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  18. This is a perfect patronage for the Duchess and one that blends so well into her portfolio. Some day I hope we can say it was partly due to Kate that the “stiff upper lip” of mental health turned into a smile. J

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    1. Well said J !!! Very well said.

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    2. Very nice comment!

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  19. Allison in US8 May 2022 at 22:37

    Hate the dress on the model. Love it on Kate! In her photo, the blue is darker and the embroidery and ruffle are not noticeable. Love her darkish hair!

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  20. a bit of a superficial aside.. but I am loving Kate's hair lately... one long length, sleek. so good!

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  21. This I love for her. Beautiful print, gentle, classic style. She does care about this important work. Much respect.

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