You may hear the names Mo Salah and Prince William in the same sentence this season – here's why

Cape Town – The 2019/2020 Premiere League season kicks off this week, but football fans already got a taste of what’s to come on Sunday with the Liverpool vs Manchester City FA Community Shield. The game also kicked off a very important initiative though, spearheaded by none other than The Duke of Cambridge: Heads Up. 

"Over the next year leading up to the 2020 FA Cup Final we are going to use football’s biggest platforms to get the country talking," Prince William announced leading up to Sunday’s game. "A season-long campaign where we will be encouraging fans to talk about their mental health. We will use our national game to spread the message that mental health isn’t a sad, difficult topic, it is just part of everyday life."

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"We will use our national game ?? to spread the message that mental health isn’t a sad, difficult topic. It is just part of everyday life." — This Sunday’s FA Community Shield between Liverpool and Manchester City will kick-off the #HeadsUp campaign ?? a season of activities aimed at driving the biggest ever conversation on mental health. Heads Up – launched by The Football Association and @heads_together, and spearheaded by The Duke of Cambridge – will harness the influence and popularity of football to help show the nation that we all have mental health, and it is just as important as physical health. The campaign will strive to raise awareness, spark conversation and signpost support for those in need. Take a look at out Story or visit the link in our bio to find out. If a fan wants immediate support ?????? they can also text ‘HeadsUp’ to 85258 to connect with a trained @giveusashoutinsta crisis volunteer, who will chat to them by text message, sharing only what feels comfortable, and help them through the moment, working together on a a plan for longer-term support.

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Prince William, in collaboration with the Football Association and Heads Together, is creating a conversation around mental health, highlighting that it’s just as important as our physical wellbeing. As such, if fans find themselves going through a difficult time and struggling to speak up, they can get immediate support by texting 'HeadsUp' to 85258 at any time to connect with a trained volunteer.

Before the match on Sunday, iChoir from Liverpool and Bee Vocal from Manchester both sang each team's club anthems respectively.  You'll Never Walk Alone and Blue Moon both speaks of isolation and the importance of togetherness to combat it.

In an Instagram post, on mental health Man. City manager, Pep Guardiola commented, "I want to live in a society where mental health is considered as important as physical health, and initiatives like #HeadsUp are a great way of achieving that. I hope everyone takes time to think about those close to them who have suffered in silence, and let’s try and find a way of making the conversation around mental health more open and honest. It’s the only way we will move forward."

Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp also commented, "Mental ill health is an illness that doesn’t discriminate. It affects all ages, all genders, all backgrounds, all incomes and wealths, all nationalities. If this game helps more people realise that it’s something any one of us could suffer that’s good - because people should not feel embarrassed about illness."

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I want to live in a society where mental health is considered as important as physical health, and initiatives like #HeadsUp are a great way of achieving that. I hope everyone takes time to think about those close to them who have suffered in silence, and let’s try and find a way of making the conversation around mental health more open and honest. It’s the only way we will move forward. ?? @mancity Manager Pep Guardiola Mental ill health is an illness that doesn’t discriminate. It affects all ages, all genders, all backgrounds, all incomes and wealths, all nationalities. If this game helps more people realise that it’s something any one of us could suffer that’s good - because people should not feel embarrassed about illness. ?? @liverpoolfc Manager Jürgen Klopp Heads Up – launched by The Football Association and @heads_together, and spearheaded by The Duke of Cambridge – will harness the influence and popularity of football to help show the nation that we all have mental health, and it is just as important as physical health. Thank you Pep and Jürgen ?? Manchester City and Liverpool, for your support. Visit the link in our bio to find out more about how we are using one of the most powerful, unifying forces in our society – football ? – to start the biggest ever conversation on mental health. ?? AFP/FA/PA

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