Prince William and David Beckham Team up for Mental Health Initiative
Prince William teams up with David Beckham to spread mental health awareness through U.K. Football organizations.
The soccer system, consisting of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, has come together to support mental health by signing the “Mentally Healthy Football” Declaration. Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, is bringing to light the importance of mental health within the sport.
A press release stated, “The ‘Mentally Healthy Football’ Declaration will see governing bodies, leagues and organizations from across U.K. football recognizing that mental health is as important as physical health, and pioneering a ‘team approach’ on this important issue.” It continued, “Together, the U.K. football family will build on the important work that clubs and football organizations are already doing, working together to ensure the mental health of players, staff, managers, coaches and officials is prioritized.”
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The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has granted nearly £1.8 million to 10 leading charities at the heart of mental health and frontline support through a bespoke fund set up as part of the organisation’s response to Covid-19. Earlier this week, The Duke and Duchess spoke to four representatives from organisations which will benefit from the fund, including two emergency responders and two mental health counsellors. They heard about the challenges facing organisations and how mental health support will be needed both for those working on the frontline and those delivering vital support to the nation.
In a post on his Instagram account, the Prince added, “This is a legacy we can all be proud of—following a season we will never forget.”
After the declaration, the Duke joined a video call with the Captain of England’s Men’s team, David Beckham. Beckham opened up regarding his own struggle with mental health. Referring to the red card he received during a game against Argentina back in ’98, Beckham explained reactions as “pretty brutal.”
“I had a support system within Manchester United, the manager, and obviously family. But did I feel it was ok at the time to go to someone and say I need help? No, because it was a different era, and I just felt that I had to keep it all in and deal with it myself. Whereas now I’m the one preaching to my kids and to other kids that I talk to out there that it’s really important to talk,” said the England’s Men’s Team Captain.
In the Instagram post below, Beckham wrote, “Over the years I’ve learned that to play at your best, mental well-being is just as important as physical fitness.” Beckham tells his followers he wants players in football to feel comfortable reaching out for help.
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Over the years I’ve learned that to play at your best, mental well-being is just as important as physical fitness. As a new club owner I want our players and staff to feel able to ask for help when they need it. Thankfully times are changing and we need everyone in football to know that it’s ok to be open when they feel pressure and need support. Thank you to the Duke of Cambridge for inviting me to join this important conversation ahead of the Heads Up FA Cup final this weekend. @kensingtonroyal #HeadsUp
“We all know now that it’s ok not to be ok, and it’s ok to say that,” he continued. “It’s ok to come out and say I need help.” Let it be known that mental health is just as important as physical health. For more information on mental health in sports, click here.