Millions of football fans to watch mental health film as Leeds United's FA Cup kick-off delayed

A short film narrated by the Duke of Cambridge will be played at the start of Leeds United's FA Cup match against Arsenal on Monday night.

By Abbey Maclure
Friday, 3rd January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 3rd January 2020, 12:58 pm

Kick-off at the Emirates will be delayed by one minute as the film is played to millions on one of the biggest weekends in football.

The film, which features England stars including Jesse Lingard, Harry Maguire and Jordan Pickford, encourages football fans to "Take A Minute" to look after their mental health.

It's a collaboration between Public Health England's (PHE) Every Mind Matters and The FA and Heads Together’s Heads Up campaign and will be played before all 32 FA Cup Third Round fixtures this weekend.

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England stars Jesse Lingard, Harry Maguire and Jordan Pickford star in the film

The video has been released after a YouGov survey showed that men are less likely than women to seek help or take action for early signs of common mental health concerns.

Of the 78% of men who have experienced early signs of mental health concerns in the last year, just under half (45%) said they had never taken self-care actions to manage their mental health, compared to 31% of women.

Andrew Furber, centre director at PHE Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Mental health isn’t necessarily something everyone considers on a daily basis, but lots of people engage with football more often.

"We know sport is good for physical health but it’s also good for mental health; it’s wonderful to see sport used as a platform to help encourage simple steps for positive mental health change.”

Chris Kamara also stars in the short film

Campaigns like Heads Up - a season-long collaboration between the FA and Heads Together - are using the popularity of football to generate more conversation around mental health.

Spearheaded by the Duke of Cambridge, the initiative will encourage football fans to look after their own mental health, and support friends and family who may be struggling.

Godric Smith, chair of the Heads Up campaign, said: "Football is already doing some great work on mental health but it is really encouraging to see the whole game uniting around the Heads Up campaign in 2020 starting with the Emirates FA Cup Third Round.

"Support your team. Support your mates. And support yourself.

"The Every Mind Matters website is a great place to start. We all have mental health and we can all take a minute to think more about it and take simple, positive steps.”

Arsenal v Leeds United will kick-off at 7.56pm on Monday, January 6.