The Princess of Wales has launched the second Taking Action on Addiction campaign with a message highlighting the need to change attitudes.
Her Royal Highness released a video on Sunday on behalf of several charities where she described addiction as “a serious mental health condition”.
The week-long campaign, which runs from October 30 to November 7, is aimed at supporting those struggling with addiction and encouraging them to seek help.
“Attitudes to addiction are changing,” Princess Catherine said. “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 recognise that the only way to help those suffering is to try and understand what has led them to addiction, to empathise with them and to be compassionate to their struggles.”
The campaign is led by Forward Trust alongside a number of charity partners and aims to reframe existing perceptions of addiction. It is also seeking to build awareness of the causes and nature of addiction, improve understanding, reduce prejudice and enable more people to ask for and receive help.
The princess added: “It could happen to anyone, no matter what age, gender, race or nationality. As a patron of the Forward Trust, I have met many who have suffered the effects of addiction.
“Please know that addiction is not a choice. No-one chooses to become an addict, I want you to know that this is also a serious health condition.
“Please do not let shame hold you back from getting the help you need.”
She said that work is being done across the country to deliver life changing work to help people move forward.
“Please ask for help,” the princess concluded. “Recovery is possible.”
Other charities involved include Steps2Recovery, Nacoa, Music Support, Phoenix Futures, Amy Winehouse Foundation, and Kaleidoscope.