‘We Don’t Have a Choice’: Prince William Urges Dads to Discuss Mental Health With Their Kids

William encouraged fellow fathers to reflect on how they themselves are coping with fatherhood

Prince William is celebrating Father's Day by raising awareness for the mental health campaign Heads Together, reflecting on his own responsibility to look after not just the physical health of his two children, but their mental needs as well.

The Duke of Cambridge penned an editorial, published in Britain's Sunday Express, where he spoke about the need for a healthier discussion around young people's mental health in the family home, warning that left unaddressed it can "alter the course of a child's life forever."

The father-of-two highlighted how unresolved challenges from childhood can lead to issues such as addiction, suicide and homelessness in adolescence and adulthood.

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"While the circumstances of any one situation are unique, it is clear that many families could have been helped if they had found it easier to talk openly about mental health challenges in the home," William wrote.

William urged fathers to discuss mental health with their children and families, and encouraged dads to overcome the common hurdle of struggling to talk about their own feelings.

"It is often said that fathers can often find it hard to talk about their own feelings so there's no wonder they struggle to speak to their son or daughter about the topic," William wrote. "But we don't really have a choice."

William said he was "really disheartened" to learn that many parents are ashamed if their children had a mental health problem. But, he noted, a "generational shift" had taken place in attitudes to mental health, allowing a better understanding of things that in the past went unacknowledged.

The second-in-line to the British throne encouraged fellow fathers to reflect on how they themselves are coping with fatherhood and to "take a moment to ask their children how they are doing" on Sunday.

"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 added.

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