Prince William uses football to highlight the importance of mental health.

Prince William and England stars Harry Kane and Declan Rice have sat down to discuss football and mental health in a special episode of COPA90’s Game of 5s, ahead of the Fifa World Cup later this month.

In the episode hosted by Kelvyn Quagraine, Premiership football players Kane and Rice discuss how they cope with mental challenges both on and off the pitch, and the trio reveal how football has helped their mental wellbeing.

Prince William, an Aston Villa fan, speaks about how he fell in love with football in school, how he looked to ex-England defender Rio Ferdinand for inspiration and recalled how many friendships were forged while playing in teams and the importance of having a support network, opening up and being able to rely on friends when facing a difficult period.

He said: ‘These friendships become very important later in life when facing struggles, disappointment or heartbreak. Some of the greatest friendships are born from playing games and being pushed together through adversities. Because there is going to be plenty of times when it’s not okay and in those moments you can say listen, let’s have a beer, let’s sit down and chat or let’s have a cup of tea and have a natter about it because I’ve got something on my chest, or I am bothered by this or maybe things didn’t quite go as you hoped, and having those people in life is really important.”

Spurs striker and England captain Kane, also spoke about the ‘Harry Kane Foundation’  he recently set up which aims to to help transform a generation’s thinking about mental health.

He said: “I’ve just launched a foundation which is really exciting for me. My aim is to, especially to the younger generation, talk to them and try and provide ways of talking about mental health and wellbeing.The more we talk about it, and open up, it will definitely help solve and hopefully encourage people not to be afraid to ask for help, especially when you are feeling a little bit lower.”

During their conversation the Prince of Wales also took the opportunity to highlight the work of Shout, which is supported by the Harry Kane Foundation, and is a free and confidential 24-hour text messaging service for people who are experiencing a crisis and/or struggling with their mental health.

This COPA90  special programme is said to be part of the Prince of Wales’ long-term commitment to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health, helping people feel comfortable voice their struggles and informing about the support systems available to everybody.

Watch the video here:

If  someone you know, have been affected by any mental health issues, support and information is available at:

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