The Duke of Cambridge looked smart as he arrived at north
The father-of-three donned a navy suit and green jumper for the occasion – and completed his outfit with a pair of brown suede shoes.
The season-long campaign will harness the power of football to encourage more people – particularly men – to feel comfortable talking about their mental health, and feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times.
Prince William (pictured), 37, was all smiles as he arrived at Hendon football club in north London today
The Duke of Cambridge speaks to Rob Morris (second left), co-owner of Silver Jubilee Park and Hon Vice, President of Hendon FC and Edware Town FC, during his visit to Hendon FC as part of the Heads Up mental health campaign
The royal’s visit comes the day before the club’s participation in the Emirates FA Cup First Round Qualifying – and one day after he was pictured dropping his four-year-old daughter Princess Charlotte off for her first day at school.
Following his arrival, the Duke could be seen speaking to Rob Morris, co-owner of Silver Jubilee Park and Hon, Vice President of Hendon FC and Edware Town FC.
In 2017, Hendon FC launched an outreach programme in conjunction with the Brent Early Years Intervention Service to enable young people from the local community, who live with mental health issues, to attend training sessions at the club.
Using football as a means to help improve their mental health and wellbeing, the group of young people formed the Hendon FC Mental Health team, and now attend specially tailored training sessions at the club on a weekly basis.
The Duke (pictured) looked smart in a navy suit and green jumper and completed his outfit with a pair of brown suede shoes.
The Duke joined a number of players on the pitch, and heard more about how the project has helped them manage their mental health challenges.
During his visit, Prince William highlighted the importance of tackling racism and improving mental health in football.
His Royal Highness also spoke to the club’s fans and supporters who have experienced mental health issues, to understand how football and the sense of community it provides can play an important role on their journeys to recovery.
As a match played in the background, the duke spoke with some of the young men who had benefited from the Hendon FC Mental Health team.
The father-of-three flashed a grin to the cameras as he engaged in conversation during his visit to Hendon FC
The royal looked deep in thought as he visited the football club as part of the Heads Up mental health campaign today
Afterwards, Jermaine, 24, a local hospital inpatient, said there had been a ‘big change’ in his well-being since becoming involved in the programme.
‘I’ve developed a lot physically, mentally and emotionally,’ he said.
‘It’s made me more stable and given me more courage to succeed in what I want to do.
‘It’s good to bond with new people and mix with people who are going through the same situation. It’s good to learn from people and help each other.’
The Duke of Cambridge’s visit comes the day before the club’s participation in the Emirates FA Cup First Round Qualifying
Prince William’s visit coincides with the launch of The FA’s new comprehensive guidance for coaches and managers, distributed to FA affiliated adult clubs
Another programme participant Jahanzeb, 21, who has been diagnosed with psychosis and lives five minutes away from the club, said he used to live a more ‘secluded’ and ‘closed’ life.
‘I was at home a lot, I didn’t want to get out of the house,’ he said.
But after two years on the programme, he now feels more ‘active’ and ‘social’.
He added: ‘I feel like I’m more part of society now, before I was a bit bed bound, lazy. It’s give me hope, motivation and confidence.
The Duke joined a number of players on the pitch, and heard more about how the project has helped them manage their mental health challenges
His Royal Highness (pictured) also spoke to the club’s fans and supporters who have experienced mental health issues
Following this, Prince William spent time with the club’s coaches and discussed their role in supporting players with their mental health, broaching the topic of racism in football.
The duke noted racism was an issue both in the UK and in Europe, and was heard describing the treatment of Abraham and Lukaku as ‘outrageous’.
The duke’s visit is part of efforts to promote the new Heads Up campaign, a joint initiative from the FA and the Heads Together charity, which seeks to raise awareness and encourage conversations around mental health – particularly among men.
The visit coincided with the launch of The FA’s new comprehensive guidance for coaches and managers, distributed to FA affiliated adult clubs.
Prince William spoke to club officials during his visit to Hendon FC as part of the Heads Up mental health campaign
Prince William (pictured) also discussed the new guidelines with the club’s coaches, and how it can support them in identifying the signs of mental health issues
The royal looked animated as during his visit – which comes just a day after he was pictured dropping his daughter, Princess Charlotte, four, off for her first day at school
The Duke folding his arms in front as he engaged in conversation on the north London football team’s pitch
Launched at the Community Shield by The FA, Heads Together was spearheaded by The Duke of Cambridge, and aims to use the influence and popularity of football to show the nation that mental health is just as important as physical health.
It will support the important work which is already taking place across the UK to end the stigma surrounding mental health, and will strive to raise awareness, spark conversation and signpost support for those in need.
Heads Up will be visible across all levels of the game, from the elite to grassroots, and at the biggest moments of The FA’s season including men’s and women’s England internationals and FA competitions.
The campaign will conclude at the Emirates FA Cup Final on 23rd May, 2020.
Heads Together was spearheaded by The Duke of Cambridge, and aims to use the influence and popularity of football to show the nation that mental health is just as important as physical health. Pictured, arriving at Hendon football club today