Kate Middleton opened up about why she feels so strongly about mental health awareness as she attended The Royal Foundation’s “Mental Health in Education” conference Wednesday.

The 37-year-old, who dressed to impress in a tweed skirt with a matching blazer by Dolce and Gabbana, explained: “It’s really so exciting to hear everyone here speaking with your wealth of experience about the importance of mental health and particularly the emotional development of our children and teachers.”

Middleton, who is the patron of the charity Place2Be, added that teachers play a vital role in “supporting our youngest children’s mental health.”

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The Duchess continued, “Thank you all for your dedication to this important cause, whether you work in schools, universities, charities or elsewhere.”

“Over the last eight years working with charities I’ve met some of our leading experts in mental health, addiction, family breakdown, homelessness and education.”

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“They have taught me over and over again that the root cause of so many of today’s social problems can be traced right back to the very earliest years of a person’s life and often over generations.”

“The scientific and other evidence is clear the first few years of a child’s life are more pivotal for development and for future health and happiness than any other single moment in our life time.”

Middleton went on to mention children’s “positive development” being directly linked to “those who care for them.”

The royal continued, “And as we have heard today, it is therefore vital that we support teachers with their own well-being so that they can find the best level of care for all children, in their schools and communities in which they work.”

“No one of us however can make a difference alone. I feel so passionately about working together and being here today has affirmed to me just how much already is being done, so thank you to all of you who are prioritizing the importance of mental health and the importance of childhood development as a whole.”

“I look forward to hearing how your discussions will lead to proactive steps and to an ever more resounding commitment to mentally healthy schools, teachers and children.”