When Kate Middleton married into the royal family more than a decade ago, one of the first charities that she became patron of was Action on Addiction. Now the Princess of Wales, she continues to use her profile to shine a spotlight on this crucial issue, today releasing a video message of support for an addiction awareness campaign.
The Princess is backing the Taking Action on Addiction campaign, which has been launched today in Addiction Awareness Week. In a video message recorded earlier this month at Kensington Palace, she described addiction as a “serious mental health condition” and spoke directly to those suffering to tell them, “Please do not let shame hold you back from getting the help you so desperately need…please ask for help.”
“Addiction is a serious mental health condition that can happen to anyone, no matter what age, gender, race or nationality,” Kate began her message by saying. “Attitudes to addiction are changing. But we are not there yet, and we need to be. Still the shame of addiction is stopping people and families asking for help and people are still tragically losing their lives.”
The campaign aims to build awareness, reframe perception and reduce prejudice around addiction. It is led by an organisation called the Forward Trust, which Kate became patron of in June 2021 when it merged with her existing charity Action on Addiction. A lot of the Princess’s work over the past decade has been aimed at a greater understanding of mental health challenges and how these can be linked to the earliest years of a person’s life.
Chief Executive of The Forward Trust, Mike Trace, said in a statement that “addiction is growing across the UK" and "it is crucial we build awareness of its causes and act quickly to stop this tide.”
Addiction Awareness Week runs from Sunday, October 30 to Sunday, November 7.
Read the Princess of Wales’s message in full:
Addiction is a serious mental health condition that can happen to anyone, no matter what age, gender, race or nationality. As Patron of The Forward Trust, I have met many people who have suffered from the effects of addiction. Attitudes to addiction are changing. But we are not there yet, and we need to be. Still the shame of addiction is stopping people and families asking for help and people are still tragically losing their lives.
We as a society need to recognise that the only way to help those suffering is to try and understand what has led them to addiction, to empathise with them and to be compassionate to their struggles. And so today, during Addiction Awareness Week, I want to share a message of support to those who are continuing to suffer.
Please know that addiction is not a choice. No one chooses to become an addict. I want you to know that this is also a serious health condition. Please do not let shame hold you back from getting the help you so desperately need. The charities leading the Taking Action on Addiction Campaign, along with others, are working across the country delivering life changing work to help people recover and move forward.
They are here for you. So please ask for help. I know this was not a choice. Recovery is possible.
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