This year marked Prince William's third Father's Day as a father. In honor of this special day, the Duke of Cambridge took the time to share how important it is for families to be open and understanding about mental health.
William, his wife Kate and his brother Harry recently launched the Heads Together campaign, which seeks to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. In an essay published in the U.K.'s Sunday Express, William encourages parents, particularly fathers, to talk to their children about their mental well-being.
"For me it is a day not just to celebrate how fortunate I am for my young family," he writes, "but to reflect on just how much I've learned about fatherhood and the issues facing fathers in all walks of life."
He adds, "In particular, it is a time to reflect on my responsibility to look after not just the physical health of my two children, but to treat their mental needs as just as important a priority."
Prince William explains that many of the challenges adults face can be linked to issues left unresolved in childhood, adding that "many families could have been helped if they had found it easier to talk openly about mental health challenges in the home."
He also cites some sobering statistics. By age 11, a fifth of children will have a mental health issue. Yet more than half of parents have not discussed the topic with their kids. As William points out, "Less than a third of fathers say they believe that the emotional needs of their children [are] a fundamental priority."
William believes that creating a better dialogue within families is the key to change: "I really believe that a child's mental health is just as important as his or her physical health."
Prince William recently joined dads and their children for a Father's Day breakfast. Watch the important conversation below: