Prince William Teams Up With David Beckham and More Athletes for Mental Health Initiative

David Beckham recalled to Prince William and other athletes a time when he felt he had to "keep it all in and deal with it myself."

By Samantha Schnurr Jul 27, 2020 9:22 PMTags
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When it comes to mental health in soccer, Prince William is helping to bring heads together. 

On Sunday, it was announced that the soccer system spanning England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland had come together in the name of mental health and in collaboration with the royal's Heads Up campaign to sign the "Mentally Healthy Football" Declaration. 

"The 'Mentally Healthy Football' Declaration will see governing bodies, leagues and organizations from across UK football recognizing that mental health is as important as physical health, and pioneering a ‘team approach' on this important issue," a press release explained. "Together, the UK football family will build on the important work that clubs and football organizations are already doing, working together to ensure the mental health of players, staff, managers, coaches and officials is prioritized."

As Prince William's Instagram account concluded, "This is a legacy we can all be proud of—following a season we will never forget," a reference to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Following the milestone declaration, the Duke of Cambridge joined a video call with England Men's Captain David Beckham, Manchester City and England Women's Captain Steph Houghton, Aston Villa and England Men's Tyrone Mings, Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend and Everton Manager Carlo Ancelotti

Stars Who Speak Out on Mental Health

During the call, Beckham, a famed player and now a father of four, opened up about not being forthcoming about his struggles in the past. 

Samir Hussein/WireImage

"I made a mistake in '98 and the reaction at the time was pretty brutal," Beckham recalled during the video conference, seemingly a reference to the red card he received while playing against Argentina during the 1998 World Cup. England ultimately lost the game and Beckham was publicly blamed and criticized. 

"If social media was around when I was going through that time, it would have been a whole different story."

"But I was lucky," the star continued. "I had a support system within Manchester United, the manager, and obviously family. But did I feel it was ok at the time to go to someone and say I need help? No, because it was a different era, and I just felt that I had to keep it all in and deal with it myself. Whereas now I'm the one preaching to my kids and to other kids that I talk to out there that it's really important to talk."

"We all know now that it's ok not to be ok, and it's ok to say that," he declared. "It's ok to come out and say I need help."