The Duchess of Cambridge will carry out two engagements today with a focus on maternal mental health issues. The first engagement includes a visit to The Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, at King’s College Hospital in London. For her second engagement, the Duchess will travel to the Bethlem Royal Hospital to visit their Mother and Baby Unit. Both visits reflect HRH’s interest learning more about maternal mental health issues. The Duchess has become increasingly interested in maternal mental health over the past months and it is expected that it will become an area of her focus next to children’s mental health within the Heads Together campaign.
During the visit to The Maurice Wohl Clinical Neurosceince Institute, the Duchess will learn about the biological influences on maternal mental health and about what support is available to new mothers. The Institute is one of Europe’s largest centers for neurosceince. It focusses on all kids of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression and epilepsy. At least 20% of women are affected by mental health problems during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of their baby. Every woman can be affected by these problems, but poverty, extreme stress, conflics, violence and low support can increase the risks of some disorders. If not treated, it can have significant and long lasting effects on the woman and her family. During the visit to the Institute, the Duchess attended a briefing on the work the Institute does in perinatal research. Afterwards, she met with several academics to learn more about perinatal psychiatry.
For her second engagement of the day, the Duchess visited the Mother and Baby Unit of the Bethlem Royal Hospital, which has its focus on treating antenatal and postnatal (before and after birth) mental health issues. Patients are supported by psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, midwives and other professionals. At the Unit, mothers with mental health disorders can be admitted with their child. In this way, the mother-child bonding is not disturbed by mother’s illness. The Duchess met with staff and patients who are currently receiving treatment at the hospital.
The Duchess is wearing a familiar coat and dress by maternity brand Séraphine, with a pair of Jimmy Choo pumps, a Jaegar Clutch and her sapphire and diamond drops. She wore the coat in January 2015 when pregnant with princess Charlotte, and we’ve seen the dress in January and February 2015, and earlier this month for a visit to Reach Academy.