The importance of A Right Royal Team Talk: Tackling Mental Health

Prince William and Prince Harry are no strangers to conversations about mental health. Their work is absolutely phenomenal, it is so inspiring to see royalty using their status to shine a light on mental health issues and help people suffering.

The Duke of Cambridge discusses how he felt “pain like no other pain.”

Last week the royal brothers with their wives, the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex, launched a new mental health texting service called Shout. The service is for people who are having a “tough moment” and want to move from “crisis to calm”. Their number is 85258 and you can read more about how the service can help you here.

Tonight (May 19), the kind-hearted Duke of Cambridge has once again proven he’s a mental health warrior by featuring in a documentary on the subject. In the programme he discusses men’s mental health with famous footballers Gareth Southgate, Peter Crouch, Thierry Henry, Danny Rose, Jermaine Jenas and presenter Dan Walker on BBC1.  

These famous men are legends, idolised by millions of people, so for them to broadcast their thoughts and feelings on how mental health has affected their lives is testament to their outstanding character.

The Duke of Cambridge discusses how he felt “pain like no other pain” after losing his mum, Princess Diana, at age 15. He continues by saying that people like him are “desperate to talk about bereavement”, but they need someone to begin these discussions so that they get the validation that it is okay to talk about their loss.

In the documentary Gareth Southgate opens up about losing his job and becoming known as the man who missed the crucial penalty at Euro ‘96, even though he’d played over 700 games previously. Southgate also talks about how players would “get their mind right” in the changing rooms before playing big football games. The England manager makes some very vital points about men’s mental health in football. It is refreshing to hear this kind of perspective from someone who has spent their whole life in football.

READ MORE: Men, mental health and match days – It’s time to unite

“Before people had even seen me play they judged me on my appearance.”

Peter Crouch reveals how body image affected him as a footballer. When playing his first game for QPR he stated that “before people had even seen me play they judged me on my appearance.” He goes on to say that, “football fans can be very very ruthless.” This insight into growing up in football from being a teenager is truly touching, because the former England player faced a lot of abuse for his appearance.  

It is open and honest conversations like this in the mainstream media, that will encourage other men to speak up about their feelings. This kind of documentary could save lives, so it’s incredible to witness these men putting themselves out there in such a vulnerable way.  

This documentary is one not to be missed. It proves that even royalty and some of the greatest footballers can be affected by mental health, and that it’s OK not to be OK, you just have to reach out.

A Right Royal Team Talk is on BBC1, Sunday May 19 at 10.30pm.

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