“Addiction is a serious mental health condition that can happen to anyone, no matter what age, gender, race or nationality,” the Princess of Wales, 40, said in a Friday, October 28, YouTube video released by the Forward Trust. “As patron of the Forward Trust, I have met many people who suffered from the effects of addiction.”
Kate continued: “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 recognize that the only way to help those suffering is to try and understand what has led them to addiction, to empathize with them and to be compassionate to their struggles.”
The Duchess of Cornwall recorded a video message from her Kensington Palace residence, sharing a note of “support” for individuals who “continue to suffer.” Kate’s personal video was made for the Forward Trust’s “Taking Action on Addiction” campaign, which aims to reframe the stigma surrounding addiction and encourage individuals to seek help as needed.
“Today, during #AddictionAwarenessWeek, I want to offer a message of support to those who are continuing to suffer,” the duchess captioned a Sunday, October 30, Instagram post, in which she shared the clip. “I know this was not a choice. Recovery is possible.”
Kate was declared patron of the Forward Trust last year. “I am delighted that The Forward Trust and Action on Addiction have taken this bold step to join forces and help more people, families and children to overcome addiction,” the Duchess of Cambridge noted in a May 2021 statement. “I have had the privilege of being Patron of Action on Addiction for nine years, and have seen the work of The Forward Trust at HMP Send on several occasions.”
She added at the time: “With the link between early childhood trauma and addiction later in life becoming more widely understood, it is more important than ever that we focus on these issues so that we can create a happier, healthier, more nurturing society.”
Kate has continued working with the organization, even meeting with volunteers and those seeking the Forward Trust’s services.
“No one chooses to become an addict. I want you to know that this is also a serious health condition,” she said in her Friday video. “Please do not let shame hold you back from getting the help you so desperately need.”
If you or anyone you know is facing substance abuse issues, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information 24/7.