Kate Middleton visited a university to discuss how the pandemic is affecting students’ mental health

  • Kate Middleton visited the University of Derby in Derby, England, on Tuesday.
  • The Duchess of Cambridge's visit coincided with World Mental Health Day.
  • At the university, she met with students and faculty to learn about how the coronavirus has impacted students' mental health and wellbeing.
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On Tuesday, Kate Middleton visited the University of Derby in Derby, England. Her goal: To gain insight into how the novel coronavirus is impacting student mental health and wellbeing. 

Throughout the visit, the Duchess of Cambridge met with faculty, staff, and students to learn about mental health resources the school and country are providing. 

Middleton's trip coincided with the World Mental Health Day, which takes place this Saturday. 

Kate Middleton visited students at the University of Derby.
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The purpose of the trip was to look at how the pandemic has impacted students' mental health

Throughout the day, the duchess met with students and campus leaders to explore how the coronavirus is impacting students' mental health and wellbeing.

But Middleton was also there to explore how the university is supporting its students.

One example is through Student Minds, the UK's student mental health charity. The organization's mission is to "empower students and members of the university community to develop the knowledge, confidence, and skills to look after their own mental health, support others, and create change."

The organization shared that the current pandemic has both intensified student mental health challenges and created new ones. Not only are students facing the traditional challenges of adapting to college, but the pandemic has created added pressures, such as loneliness, isolation, financial stress, and difficulties accessing care.

The university has added programs designed to mitigate those challenges. For example, Student Spaces helps students find mental health support through online pathways, like texting, calling, emailing, or video chatting. Middleton saw those resources firsthand throughout her visit. 

"We have worked hard to develop our whole university approach, taking proactive steps to develop students' ability to maintain and improve their own wellbeing and creating a learning environment that is inclusive and supportive for our students," Gareth Hughes, the clinical lead for Student Minds, said in a statement shared on the University of Derby's website. 

The Duchess of Cambridge visits students at the University of Derby to hear how the pandemic has impacted university life.
Arthur Edwards/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The duchess met with first-year students during her visit

Not only did Middleton meet with campus administrators and leaders, but she also sat down with students to learn their perspective.

After learning how first-year students are adapting to college, she met with nursing students and athletes to learn how peer mentoring and an active lifestyle have helped them. 

"Due to the pandemic, 2020 has arguably been the most unusual and challenging start to university life that any cohort of students has had in recent times," Rosie Tressler, the CEO of Student Minds, said in a statement. 

Representatives for Kensington Palace did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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