A one-minute film narrated by the Duke of Cambridge will be shown before all FA Cup matches this weekend to encourage football fans to look after their mental health.
The film, which also features current and former footballers, will be broadcast at stadiums, online and on television ahead of the kick-off of all 32 FA Cup third-round ties. Each match has been delayed by 60 seconds to prompt fans to consider their well-being.
It’s part of a collaboration between Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters and the FA and Heads Togethers’ Heads Up campaigns, which aim to raise awareness of the simple actions people can take to look after their mental health.
Our Trustee Andrew Kinder said he thought the film was a good idea – and that there should be a variety of different programmes to encourage people to look after their mental health and to know how to reach out for support if needed.
He said: “The campaign is encouraging us not to take our mental health for granted, but to reach out and have that conversation. It's helping people think about what the can do to look after their mental health. It talks about the simple steps.
Think about what you can do
“It’s important to think about how you are coping, think about what you can do and recognise if something like depression or stress is affecting you so that you need to take an extra step and ask for professional support.
“There are counsellors working in every sector – workplaces, universities, healthcare. This provision of counselling is so important to ensure people can get help.
He added: “Recognising that you need to ask for help is a really important process to go through. Going to see your GP, making an appointment to see a counsellor, making a phone call to ask for support, means you have done something positive. The important first step is recognising that you’re not ok.”
“Speaking to a counsellor means you can unlock the emotions that are being pushed down and hidden. You can stand back and explore in safe place what is causing these issues. It opens up the idea of looking at yourself differently and reaching a level of self-development.”
While the film is aimed at everyone, it’s recognised that football can be a powerful way to reach men as 69% of fans are male.
A YouGov survey commissioned by PHE shows men in England are less likely than women to seek help or take self-care actions for early signs of common mental health concerns.
Andrew, who has written a book with Shaun Davis called Positive Male Mind, said: “Men are a hard to help group.
“There is this culture, it’s all to do with this phrase ‘man up’ – don’t talk about your feelings, just get on with it.
“I think something like this film, coming from man to man. It could help men spot the signs that they are not coping. It may encourage them to talk.”
If you want to speak to a BACP counsellor near you, visit our Directory.
Andrew Kinder spoke about men’s mental health and the importance of counselling on BBC Radio Wales. Listen to him on the Dot Davies show from 1:05.