A speech by The Duchess of Cambridge at The Royal Foundation Forum

Published 28 February 2018

The mental health of children and adults is one area where a long-term view will make all the difference to future generations

It is a great pleasure to be here today to talk about the work of The Foundation and to introduce a panel reflecting on the success of Heads Together.

The campaign set out to change the national conversation on mental health. We are all so proud of the work we did with our partners; to challenge the stigma which has prevented so many people from speaking openly about their mental wellbeing.

I am also particularly proud of how we have all managed to work together.  This is a unique part of The Foundation model.  As Patrons, William, Harry and I were able to collaborate on a major project as a team, and worked with The Foundation on the ideas for the campaign with sector partners and experts.  Many of you came together to advise us, and help us, to develop and implement our ideas. 

I am sure the impact we had as a whole, by engaging on this together, was the reason we were so successful in pushing these issues further into the public consciousness.

The long-term focus is another unique feature of The Foundation and central to the way it operates. 

Since our roles are lifetime roles, our commitment to the work we do through The Foundation is genuinely long-term.  The work we do can, and should, have a long-lasting resonance.  For this reason, we are able to support causes which we're passionate about for decades into the future. Rather than just for a few months or years. 

Like The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, and The Prince of Wales, we feel strongly that we have to take a long-term view that is measured in generations.  This perspective allows us to take time to really learn about and understand the issues, and then assemble the right group of experts and partners to form coalitions to create sustainable solutions.

It is an unusual and privileged position to be in, but I do think this long-term view will ultimately help us make a difference in the areas that we care so passionately about. 

And now, in turning back to Heads Together, I am sure you will agree that the mental health of children and adults is one area where a long-term view will make a huge difference to generations in the future.

Thank you.