You may have noticed FA Cup games are kicking off a minute later than usual this year. 5:31 p.m. GMT. Or 12:31 p.m. ET. And so on and so forth.
The reason is because of a mental health initiative aimed at encouraging people to consider their mental wellbeing. The FA Cup’s Heads Up campaign has partnered with the Public Health England's Every Mind Matters program, and they’re showing videos at every venue before this weekend’s games.
Prince William narrates the videos, which include personal messages from Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, Tottenham star Dele Alli, and other figures from the English game. According to The Guardian, Lampard talks about how he and his family “bottled up a lot of emotions, feelings and sometimes anxieties,” while Spurs women’s forward Rosella Ayane recommends “switching off your phone, turning off Twitter, turning off Instagram, just really embracing time for yourself.”
Here’s the mental health video sent out by the FA Cup itself:
It's important to find time to speak about your mental health.— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 4, 2020
That's why all 3️⃣ 2️⃣ #EmiratesFACup third round ties will kick off a minute later than usual – in support of @FA's #HeadsUp campaign. pic.twitter.com/srOR0FLOt3
Mental health is becoming a growing topic of discussion in society, and American sports are no exception. NBA stars Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan have helped lead the conversation, while the NFL announced its own mental health initiative last spring.
The FA Cup is in its third round, which is when the Premier League teams annually enter. It is the oldest club competition in the world, and all teams in England’s top four divisions are eligible to compete.
For more information on mental health, visit mentalhealth.gov.
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