Eamonn M. McCormack—Getty Images
November 23, 2016 10:18 AM EST

Kate Middleton is a mental health advocate, and on Tuesday night, she honored young students who are following in her footsteps. The Duchess of Cambridge stepped out for the Place2Be Awards in London, where she spoke about mental health and the importance of safe spaces.

Place2Be is part of the Heads Together mental health campaign that Middleton has championed along with the duke and Prince Harry. The organization has partnered with 282 schools in the U.K. to provide in-school support and expert training to improve the emotional well-being of both students and staff.

The duchess, who stunned in a black Preen cocktail dress and Prada heels, met with guests and honorees before heading up on stage. She made a lasting impression on one mom, whose son told Middleton about how he used his battle with autism and Asperger syndrome to raise awareness. “I vowed that I wouldn’t cry but was just overcome listening to Ethan. The duchess just leaned over and said to me, ‘I’ve got to give you a hug as a mum.’ I couldn’t believe it. It was such a kind gesture,” Ceri Knapton told reporters, according to People.

“Without many of the inspiring people gathered here, countless children would not receive such transformational support in their schools,” she said. “It is because of so many of you, that in their time of need, children have the help that will get them through tough times in their lives.”

“Together, you ensure all of your students know they have somewhere to turn, someone who will listen, or simply a safe place to escape,” she told the audience. “Our young champion finalists here tonight are extraordinary. You have not only faced challenges but had the resilience to overcome them. You have also, in your willingness to have open conversations, become young mental health pioneers.”

She presented awards to 16-year-old Kaii Bailey and 11-year-old Cerys Kenny, embracing the students up on stage.

We’d like to give this humble royal an award of her own.

This article originally appeared on InStyle.com

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