Prince William calls becoming a dad 'life-changing' and one of the 'scariest' experiences in new documentary

By Zach Harper

Prince William has opened up about becoming a dad in a new documentary about mental health, saying he found it both "life-changing" and one of the "scariest" experiences due to things he'd gone through when he was younger.

Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health sees the Duke of Cambridge working with professional soccer players to tackle something different: mental fitness and wellness. The project is intended to use sport to help people – particularly men – get comfortable talking about mental health.

In the documentary, which will air May 28 on BBC One, the 37-year-old met up with former Fulham and Watford forward Marvin Sordell, who told the prince about struggles he went through after becoming a dad.

"You know, I found it really tough," Marvin told the prince. "I grew up without my father... I really struggled with my emotions at that time."

Of course, the future King lost his mother, Princess Diana, in a horrific car crash in 1997. He was just 15 years old at the time. He told Marvin he also felt all of those feelings coming back when he became a father. He and Duchess Kate have since had three children: Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 5 and Prince Louis, 2.

"Having children is the biggest life-changing moment," William said. "It really is... I think when you've been through something traumatic in life – and that is like you say, your dad not being around, my mother dying when I was younger – the emotions come back, in leaps and bounds."

He went on to say Kate helped him as those feelings came up.

"Me and Catherine, particularly, we support each other and we go through those moments together and we kind of evolve and learn together.

"I can completely relate to what you're saying about children coming along – it's one of the most amazing moments of life, but it's also one of the scariest."

Last year, William – who is the President of the Football Association – started the Heads Up campaign. Like the new documentary, its intention is to use soccer to help people talk about mental health and remove stigma around it.

Mental health is one of William and Kate's key priorities and biggest areas of work, and they've been very active with several related campaigns during the coronavirus pandemic.

In April, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge helped launch Our Frontline, which will provide 24-hour support to health care workers, emergency service providers, those who work as carers and others during this time, giving them fast and easy access to mental health services.

William appeared on Our Frontline's Twitter account just this week, revealing how he knows exactly how it feels to "put a brave face on" while going to work. The Duke of Cambridge is a former air ambulance pilot.

"I want to say a huge thank you from myself and Catherine for all you are doing to keep everyone safe," he said in the clip. "The challenges you are facing, day in, day out, are unprecedented. Even in normal circumstances, frontline work can take its toll not just on your physical health, but also on your mental wellbeing.

Over the weekend, the duke and duchess also made a special broadcast for Heads Together, the mental health initiative they founded with Prince Harry in 2016. They joined with stars such as David Tennant, Dua Lipa and England soccer star Harry Kane for a special broadcast that was aired simultaneously on radio stations across the U.K. as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. It encouraged people to take their mental health seriously during the pandemic and reach out for help.

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