Princess Kate launches mental health program for schools: 'My own commitment is to the youngest and most vulnerable'

Kate, 36, visited Roe Green Junior School in London.

— -- Princess Kate is bringing her Heads Together mental health campaign, which she founded with Prince Harry and Prince William, to schools.

Kate, 36, today announced the launch of Mentally Healthy Schools, a program that will provide online resources for teachers and school staff to help students struggling with the challenges of growing up.

"Over the last two years, William and Harry and I have been honored to take part in a national conversation on mental health through our Heads Together campaign," Kate said in a speech at Roe Green Junior School in London. "What we have seen firsthand is that the simple act of having a conversation about mental health – that initial breaking of the silence – can make a real difference."

The duchess of Cambridge, who is pregnant with her third child, arrived at the school to singing and cheering students who presented her with flowers.

Kate, already mother to Prince George, 4,and Princess Charlotte, 2, is due in April. Inspired by her own children, Kate’s new initiative hopes to ensure all children, regardless of background, have the best opportunity for a productive childhood.

"When we intervene early in life, we help avoid problems that are much more challenging to address in adulthood," Kate said. "My own commitment is to the youngest and most vulnerable in their early years - babies, toddlers and primary school-age pupils – and to support all those who care for them, including teachers."

She added, "The ultimate goal is that no primary school teacher, anywhere in the country, should in future have to wonder where to turn when it comes to the well-being of children in their care."

With the launch of Mentally Healthy Schools, every primary school in the U.K. will get free access to a website providing reliable and tested resources suitable for the classroom.

Kate's goal in championing the program is to provide mental health resources to children and parents early on before they become more serious. Heads Together estimates that more than half of all mental health problems in adult life start by the age of 14, with one in 10 children experiencing a mental health difficulty by age 11.

Kate, William and Harry have made mental health one of the key components of their Royal Foundation. Once Harry marries Meghan Markle in May, she will join the Royal Foundation as well.

William, 35, spoke today about the role of his parents, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, in shaping his commitment to helping those less fortunate.

“I thought I’d start with something personal - a tribute to my parents," he said in a speech at the Charity Commission. "I have two children as you probably know -- I gather it has been widely reported -- and when I first became a father about four-and-a-half years ago, I began a process of thinking about the way I had been brought up, and the values that my parents had instilled in me."

William, the second in line to the throne, implored everyone, whether they are privileged or not, to make charity a part of their everyday lives, saying, "Charity is not an optional extra in society."

“Some of my earliest memories relate to times that my parents spoke to me or, even better, showed me what it meant to have both privilege and responsibilities," he said. "I remember being taken by my mother to a homeless shelter at a young age."

He continued, "Without my realizing it, what my parents were doing was instilling in me and Harry a lifelong habit to put charity at the heart of our lives."