Prince William voices soccer-themed ad for Heads Up mental health campaign

By Zach Harper

Prince William is helping people find their voice when it comes to talking about mental health issues. The Duke of Cambridge is part of a new mental health-related public service announcement that will be played in British stadiums and on broadcasts during FA Cup Third Round matches this year.

The father of three helped put the new spot together for Heads Up, a collaboration between the Football Association and Public Health England's Every Mind Matters campaign. The ad features soccer stars such as former England captain Frank Lampard, Alex Scott and plenty of others.

"In life, as in football, we all go through highs and lows," William says in the PSA. "We can all sometimes feel anxious or stressed. At moments even the little things can seem a struggle. But we can all start to change things.

"Every Mind Matters and Heads Up will show you the simple steps you can take to look after your mental health - helping to boost your mood, improve your sleep and feel ready for life's ups and downs."

Heads Up, which launched last July, is intended to use soccer to "spark the biggest ever conversation around mental health," according to the FA's website.

The site says while British people “won’t go a day without talking about” soccer, many find talking about mental health – be it their own, or someone else’s – very difficult. The campaign intends to change this, break down stigma around mental health and is particularly targeted to men.

The duke has previously stated he thinks men find it difficult to talk about mental health and he wants that to change.

William chatted with people who had benefitted from Heads Up's services at a London pub in October. Photo: © Chris Jackson/Getty Images

"I think emotions, feelings, are kind of like a bit alien over here – we don't really want to touch them too much because we're worried about how we're going to react or how people think about us," he said in May 2019, when the initiative was announced.

In keeping with this, William visited a London pub in October during an England-Czech Republic soccer game to chat with the people who were watching the match. They had all been supported by mental health charities such as Mind and CALM through Heads Up.

The Cambridges have long been passionate about mental health. In 2019, they teamed up with Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan to launch a new initiative, Shout, that helps young people in crisis. It is a 24-hour service that connects people with volunteers who help them in their moment of need, and also assists them with finding long-term support for their mental health struggles.

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