William will be featured in a documentary tomorrow on the BBC which follows his mental health campaign. He has tried to use football to get men discussing their feelings and take the stigma out of mental wellbeing. The documentary called Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health will include interviews with sporting names such as Frank Lampard and Tyrone Mings.
However, the Duke of Cambridge has not always had such success with encouraging those in the public eye to join in with his work.
He, Kate and Prince Harry launched Heads Together back in 2016 — but when discussing the innovative new idea at the Davos World Economic Forum in 2019, he mentioned that at the time it was hard to get other big names involved.
The Duke of Cambridge explained: “No one was talking about it. No one wanted to talk about it.”
He said that not a single big name in the entertainment industry was willing to work with them, even though he approached “a lot” of famous faces.
Prince William and Kate Middleton
William and Kate spearheaded the Heads Together campaign along with Prince Harry
The Duke of Cambridge explained: “No one was interested in being part of Heads Together, because it was about mental health.”
Yet, that was precisely why he and Kate wanted to “lance the boil” and discuss mental health through their campaign in the first place, so they persisted.
William added that once the campaign was up and running, some “very brave” celebrities came forward.
He said: “It’s much easier to get people involved now.”
William wanted to “lance the boil” surrounding mental health and remove the stigma
The Duke of Cambridge also emphasised why he thought mental health is such a key topic and why it should no longer be stigmatised.
He said: “We’ve got to start tackling it now, because there are still so many people who are suffering in silence.
“There is still this stigma attached to mental health that we’ve got to completely obliterate before we can move to the next stage.”
William was open with his own mental health journey, too, and explained that he experienced problems when he was working with the Air Ambulance.
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Royal news: However, he struggled to get celebrities to join in with the cause
Kate and William at a Heads Together event
He revealed that mental health became a priority to him very quickly, even though “ten years ago I knew nothing about mental health”.
William explained: “I read about it, and became immersed in it, because it was a key social problem, globally and someone had to burst the bubble.”
He also believes that this tendency to repress emotions can be traced back to the war generation, who learned to hide their feelings during times of hardship.
He claimed that they learned: “This is how you deal with problems — you don’t talk about them.”
William admitted that his own time as an Air Ambulance pilot left him struggling with mental health
He continued: “When people lost so many loved ones, and dealt with such devastation ,they concluded that talking wouldn’t fix the issue.”
A whole host of other big names have come forward to work with the royal since, such as Lady Gaga and Rio Ferdinand.
Celebrities such as Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff and Professor Green (Stephen Manderson) have also discussed their own mental health in frank conversations available to watch on the Heads Together YouTube channel.