Mental Health: Queen Mathilde calls for more investment in prevention

Mental Health: Queen Mathilde calls for more investment in prevention
Credit: Belga

Better access to mental health services is important and much more needs to be invested in prevention, Queen Mathilde said on Friday in 'Mathilde 50 – Het Grote Gesprek,' an interview with VTM that aired on Friday night on the occasion of her 50th birthday.

In the interview, Queen Mathilde speaks, among other things, about life inside and outside the palace walls and how her life has changed since she married King Philippe.

She did not reveal any details of her private life or that of her children and, as queen, she is not allowed to make political statements. However, she made a plea for more investment in mental well-being.

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“It is important for the accessibility of services to be better for patients," she stressed. "We need to invest much more in prevention. That is so important before the problem gets worse.”

The Queen's also spoke of the walks and cycle rides she has made in recent months throughout Belgium, together with people and organisations concerned with mental well-being.

She explained to VTM that she came up with the idea during the novel Coronavirus crisis, when, like many people, she often took walks.

Queen Mathilde said she considers it the task of a monarch in the 21st century to listen to people and give a voice to those who are not heard, as she did with the victims of the 2016 terrorist attacks in Brussels and Zaventem, and of floods in the summer of 2021.

“We took a lot of time then to listen to the victims. That’s a big part of our job,” she noted “There is no job description” for the work of a queen, but that is how she sees her role, Belgium's queen explained.

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