A new film narrated by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Cambridge will be played before the matches, encouraging football fans to ‘Take A Minute’ to start taking action to look after their mental health and that of their family and friends.

The powerful one minute film features current and former players, pundits, managers and fans including Frank Lampard, Harry Maguire, Alex Scott, Dele Alli, Jordan Pickford, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Son Heung-Min, Hamza Choudhury, and Slaven Bilic. The film will play across stadiums, online and broadcasters, reaching millions of football fans across England. 

The film has been released as a collaboration between Public Health England’s (PHE) Every Mind Matters and The Football Association (The FA) and Heads Together’s Heads Up campaign, who have teamed up to raise awareness of the simple actions we can all take to look after our mental health.

While the collaboration is aimed at everyone including players, supporters, friends and families, it’s widely recognised that football can be a powerful way to reach men in particular. There are over 15 million football fans in England, 69% of whom are men.

A YouGov survey commissioned by PHE shows that men in England are less likely than women to seek help or take self-care actions for early signs of common mental health concerns. It showed:

  • Of the 78% of men who have experienced early signs of mental health concerns in the last year, just under half (45%) said they’d never taken self-care actions to manage their mental health, (compared to 31% of women)
  • Of those men that did take steps to manage or improve their mental health, over three quarters (73%) wished they’d taken action sooner 
  • Men were also less likely to take self-care actions every day, with 18% of men doing so compared to one in four (24%) women. 

Heads Up

Heads Up is a season long partnership between The FA and Heads Together, and spearheaded by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, which uses the popularity of football as a vehicle to generate the biggest ever conversation around mental health.

For the Third Round, the campaign is now partnering with Every Mind Matters, a groundbreaking mental health platform from Public Health England.

Together, the initiative will encourage football fans to look after their own mental health, and support friends and family who may be struggling. They can start this by completing a ‘Mind Plan’, a quick and free tool from Every Mind Matters that has already been completed over one million times. 

By taking a minute to answer a few questions about how they are feeling, fans will get their own personalised action plan.

Clinically assured by the NHS, the plan recommends a range of evidence based self-care actions for each individual, which are designed to deal with stress, boost their mood, improve sleep and feel more in control – preventing these common mental health concerns escalating into more serious, clinical conditions.

The Emirates FA Cup Third Round kicks-off on Saturday January 4 at 12.31pm with games taking place across the weekend. Boro's match against Tottenham Hotspur at the Riverside is on Sunday January 5, at 2.01pm.

Fans can search Every Mind Matters to create their own personal mental health action plan or visit www.everymindmatters.co.uk.

Those in need of immediate support can text ‘HeadsUp’ to 85258 to be connected to a trained crisis counsellor. This service is available 24/7, and free to text from most mobile networks.

In conjunction with Heads Up charity partners Mind, CALM, Heads Together and Sporting Chance, fans will also be provided with helpful tips and advice on The FA website on how they can approach managing their mental health, at www.thefa.com/headsup.