Kate Middleton Shares Ways to Support Those Affected by Addiction: 'We Can Help to Break the Cycle'
2023/11/09

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 is calling on everywhere to help break the cycle of addiction.

As patron of The Forward Trust, the Princess of Wales shared a poignant message as Addiction Awareness Week comes to an end. Princess Kate, 41, has been a  since June 2021 (one month after the organization merged with ), and she has worked with related charities for over a decade as she helped lay the groundwork for her understanding of the complexities of mental health and her work on the early years of a child's life.

“This Addiction Awareness Week, I am delighted to again voice my support for the campaign and thank all of the charities involved in shining a light on the effects of this terrible illness," the royal began.

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Reflecting on her visit last month to the , she noted that her work with addiction, mental health and children are all related.

"In September, I visited HMP High Down in my role as Patron of The Forward Trust, where they are helping people overcome their addictions. It is conversations like the ones I had with prisoners that day that also fuel my passion for the importance of early childhood," she said. "During the earliest years of our lives, we lay the foundations for the sorts of social and emotional skills that help us to navigate life, develop coping strategies to deal with adversity and learn how to establish stable, caring relationships which are such a vital source of support when facing life’s complex challenges."

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The theme of this year's Addiction Awareness Week surrounded how widespread the problem is.

"This year, we are reflecting on how 'Everyone Knows Someone' affected by addiction," Kate continued. "I hope, by talking more openly, we can consider the people in our own lives and communities who have been impacted. Addiction affects people in so many ways beyond that one person who is experiencing it themselves - be they parents, children, siblings, friends or neighbors. By understanding their experiences, and starting from a position of compassion and empathy, we can help to break the cycle."

The Princess of Wales concluded, "Please join me by taking the time to listen to those affected by addiction and support them as best you can. Addiction is not a choice. It is a serious mental health condition. And with the right support delivered by wonderful charities like The Forward Trust, recovery is possible."

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This week, The Forward Trust released new research that showed 45% of U.K. adults aged 18 to 75 (about 22 million people) have either experienced addiction or dependency on alcohol, drugs, medication, gambling or sex themselves or know someone close to them who has. Despite this, the stigma that surrounds the condition is stopping or making it difficult for half of those experiencing their own or other people’s addictions to speak out, with negative judgment (46%) and shame (39%) cited as top concerns.

The new film "" highlights the importance of talking about addiction as the first step to recovery.

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