Thursday, 02 April, 2020


Here's why FA Cup games are kicking off one minute late

Patty Aguilar | 20 February, 2020, 02:26

A short film narrated by the Duke of Cambridge will be played at FA Cup matches to encourage football fans to look after their mental health.

Halfway through, the film turns into colour and James Bay's Hold Back the River kicks in and the stars comfort each other. Whilst the video's message is important for everyone, there is a hope that through football it will reach a number of men, as they are statistically less likely to seek help where their mental health is concerned. But there's still a long way to go. We're delighted to have an association with Public Health England for this Round and to signpost fans to their "Every Mind Matters" website, one of the simple steps that is readily available to drive change.

Professor John Newton, who is director of health improvement at Public Health England says the campaign highlights the prevalence of mental health issues. Clinically assured by the NHS, the plan recommends a range of evidence based self-care actions for each individual, which are created to deal with stress, boost their mood, improve sleep and feel more in control - preventing these common mental health concerns escalating into more serious, clinical conditions.

The Heads Together initiative was launched in 2016 by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, with the aim to end the stigma around mental health. According to The Guardian, Lampard talks about how he and his family "bottled up a lot of emotions, feelings and sometimes anxieties", while Spurs women's forward Rosella Ayane recommends "switching off your phone, turning off Twitter, turning off Instagram, just really embracing time for yourself".

The duke has previously stated he thinks men find it hard to talk about mental health and he wants that to change. It's a huge strength.

Featuring coaches and players like Frank Lampard, Dele Alli, Alex Scott and Slaven Bilic, the film will be seen by millions across England as all 32 of this weekend's Emirates FA Cup games are delayed by a minute.

They take on Port Vale in what would be the biggest shock of the round if they lost.

Those in need of immediate support can text "HeadsUp" to 85258 to be connected to a trained crisis counsellor.

The BBC will broadcast a documentary following the Duke as he works on the campaign with the FA to raise awareness of male mental fitness.

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