Hendon FC’s mental health initiatives were given the royal seal of approval as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, paid a visit to Silver Jubilee Park.
The semi-professional club, based in Kingsbury, take a proactive approach in combating mental health illnesses with a community football team set up in June 2017 to help support vulnerable young men across Brent.
The club also offer fans affected from depression and loneliness free admission to home league matches as part of their well-being programme.
The British royal has made mental health one of his key concerns having dealt with depression following the death of his mother, Princess Diana, with the campaign also supported by the likes of England manager Gareth Southgate, Peter Crouch, Thierry Henry, Danny Rose and Jermaine Jenas.
During his visit, Prince William spent time with players and coaches learning how the club is helping his ‘Heads Up’ campaign in promoting better mental health.
The Duke also watched a walking football session at the ground, a new football initiative for those for whom running and high-intensity football is no longer possible.
He praised everyone involved at the club for having the confidence and passion to help others, going on to describe Richard Hay, the support worker for Brent Mental Health Services who began the community football team, as ‘the lynchpin of the community.’
A spokesman added that the ‘Heads Up’ campaign would “use the influence and popularity of football to show the nation that mental health is just as important as physical health.
“It will support the important work which is already taking place across the UK to end the stigma surrounding mental health, and will strive to raise awareness, spark conversation and signpost support for those in need.”
- The Hendon Football group started late June 2017 and runs every week on a Thursday afternoon from 3:30pm to 5:30pm.
- In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123.