Today, the Duchess of Cambridge becomes guest editor of The Huffington Post in a bid to discuss children’s mental health issues and to shine a light on the UK Government's #YoungMindsMatter initiative.


Here in Ireland, our political parties' manifestos promise greater investment in mental health services ahead of the election. Sinn Féin want it tackled in schools and hospitals, Fine Gael want greater access to free psychological services, while Fianna Fáil want to set up a National Mental Health Authority, and Labour want to set up a National Community Healthcare Service to improve access to GP, Mental Health and Dental care.


Meanwhile we received this open letter from Jack, age six-and-a-half, via his mum... 


9:55pm last night, 16th February 2016:


Jack: Mummy, can I come downstairs? I can't sleep. 


Mummy: It's very late Jack, you have to stay in bed and go to sleep if you're going to grow up big and strong and have the energy to play with all your friends tomorrow. Go on now, back into bed and go to sleep.


Jack: But Mummy, I don't want to be me anymore. I just want to live in heaven because lots of bad things are happening to me. 


Mummy: I don't understand Jack, what bad things are happening to you?


Jack: Lots of things. I don't want to live on this planet. I hate my life. I even hate my iPad. 


Mummy: That makes me so sad to hear that Jack.


Jack: Well I am sad too, Mummy.


Mummy: Ok, let's make a list of all the things that are worrying you and upsetting you. I'm going to write them in the Notes on my phone so that we can go look at each one and try to make it better, and we can add more to the list any time you have a new worry. Do you understand? Would you like to do that? Would it help, do you think? 


Jack: Yes. I think so. (Jack is smiling now and enthusiastic, sitting up in bed and leaning in as Mummy opens the Notes App on her smartphone).



[*Lisa is four years old and Jack's sister*]


1. Lisa is being lazy in the buggy on the way home from school and I want her to scoot or walk like me.

2. I missed Sam's birthday party in January because I was sick.

3. I hurt my knee in the yard at school last week.

4. I hurt my head in Nan's house on Sunday.

5. I don't want to go swimming anymore, I want to do Playball in school instead on Mondays.

6. Today I hurt my face in the yard when Alex slapped me in the face with his hat by accident .

7. When I was at football a long time ago and we were walking back to the car, Lisa was playing and she made me bang on the wall and there was blood.

8. I worry about Mummy and Daddy fighting.

9. I'm worried about Daddy not living in this house anymore. 

10. I don't want Lisa to annoy me anymore because she always does, every day.

11. I hate when Lisa messes with her breakfast in the morning and makes Mummy and Daddy annoyed.


Mummy: Is there anything else you'd like to add? 


Jack: No, that's all for now. Maybe we could make a book with all my worries, to show other children how it's okay to have some worries and it's better to tell someone and write them down like Mummy did for Jack?


Mummy: That's a really great idea, Jack. 


Jack: Mummy, can we get Sam a birthday present because I missed his party in January, and I don't want him to be sad? 


Mummy: Of course we can, let's get it on Friday. 


Jack: I feel better now Mummy, thanks for writing all of that down in your phone. 


SHARE if your little one has experienced similar concerns to Jack, and to inspire parents on how to tackle them.