Duchess of Cambridge backs centre’s podcasts to help understand children’s mental health

The Duchess of Cambridge during a tour of the Anna Freud Centre in London, which is her first solo p

The Duchess of Cambridge during a tour of the Anna Freud Centre in London, which is her first solo public engagement since the birth of her daughter Princess Charlotte in May. - Credit: PA WIRE

The Anna Freud Centre, which has a base in Hampstead, has launched a series of podcasts endorsed by its patron, the Duchess of Cambridge, to help parents better understand and manage children’s mental health problems.

The series, Child in Mind, is presented by BBC Radio 4 presenter Claudia Hammond, who will discuss a different aspect of young people’s mental health in each of the 20 minute episodes.

Topics explored include anxiety, self-harm, ADHD, eating disorders, adolescent brain development, medication, and the impact of online porn on young minds.

The Duchess of Cambridge - mother to George, three, and one-year-old Charlotte, said in a statement: “Throughout my work with family and child support organisations, one thing that has stood out to me time and again is that getting early support for a child who is struggling to cope is the best possible thing we can do to help our children as they grow up.

“Knowing this, both William and I feel very strongly that we wouldn’t hesitate to get expert support for George and Charlotte if they need it.

“I hope that this excellent series of podcasts will go some way to help families overcome that fear of what happens next if they look for professional support.

“They illustrate that many of the therapies are actually very simple and practical steps that include the whole family to help children make sense of the world around them.”

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Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, said: “Mental health problems in children and adolescents challenge not only the young people who experience them but also the parents who love them and care for them. Parents and carers deserve all the support there is.

“This series of podcast aims to help explain and offer practical advice to parents and carers.”

Presenter Claudia Hammond, who is also a psychology lecturer, said: ”It can be hard to know whether information online is based on good evidence. But the beauty of this series of podcasts is that every episode is backed by academic expertise.

“They also contain first person experiences which any of us might identify with and often those people have the opportunity to put their questions directly to the experts. I really hope these podcasts might make life a bit easier for both young people and their parents.”

One episode per month will be released, and each episode will be hosted on both the Anna Freud National Centre’s iTunes podcast channel and Soundcloud account.