The Princess of Wales has shared a new message calling for the public to have greater "compassion and empathy" to mark the end of Addiction Awareness Week.
In her role as Patron of addiction charity, the Forward Trust, Kate penned a note where she reflected on the ties between her passion for early years development and the significance that facing addictions has on us, explaining: "Addiction is not a choice. It is a serious mental health condition."
The Princess' message comes after the Forward Trust released new research as part of the Taking Action on Addiction multi partner campaign, which aims to bring addiction into the light in an attempt to break down the stigma and provide stories of hope to encourage those suffering from addiction to seek help.
Kate has been supporting addiction charities since joining the Royal Family and became the Patron of the Forward Trust in May 2021 when it merged with Action on Addiction.
The Princess' message to signal the end of the important week read: "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.
"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.
"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."
The Princess went on to reference the new film ‘Everybody Knows Somebody’ which launched during a national Let’s Talk About Addiction event this week as she added: "This year, we are reflecting on how ‘Everyone Knows Someone’ affected by addiction. 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 neighbours. By understanding their experiences, and starting from a position of compassion and empathy, we can help to break the cycle.
"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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