Prince William says his weak eyesight helped him overcome anxiety

Henrietta Strickland
May 29, 2020

The Duke of Cambridge met footballers and football fans across the United Kingdom as he encouraged people to speak up about their mental health and break the stigma.

"Where they feel that once they have this hero tag, they can no longer shake that, and therefore they can't ask for support, they have to be this strong pillar of strength, when actual fact what we need them to be is examples of positive mental health".

The Duke of Cambridge was followed by a documentary crew as he travelled around Britain promoting his Heads Up initiative, which seeks to encourage men to be open about their mental health.

Football, Prince William And Our Mental Health will be broadcast on Thursday at 8.05pm on BBC One.

In a pre-recorded statement, the Duke said: 'We've got this global pandemic which is unprecedented.

The duke also called for wider mental health support, as the country battles the pandemic, saying it had left many "anxious and uncertain". I am still concerned about what I'm hearing from the frontline which is said certain staff still find it hard in the NHS to talk about their mental health and to be open about it for a lot of reasons.

The duke has spent recent weeks holding video calls with hospital staff, care workers and others on the frontline and said he was concerned certain staff were still finding it hard to talk about their problems at the NHS, for a variety of reasons.

"I didn't realise at the time but looking back I'm like that's what helped because I couldn't see everyone's eyes, you don't feel like the whole weight of the room is watching you". "I think when you've been through something traumatic in life. your emotions come back in leaps and bounds because it's a very different phase of life".

Prince William says poor eyesight helped his stage fright - because faces became a blur
Prince William reveals his poor eyesight helped with nerves when public speaking

And he called on society to "plug the gaps" where hospitals do not have a good support networks for their staff.

In the documentary, William went into discourse about the mental health issues that are faced by men while relating it to the sport of football as many fans and players are known to be struggling.

In a conversation with a young athlete, William admitted to bouts of anxiety when speaking before groups but said his poor eyesight allowed him to overcome his fears because the faces of the crowd were blurred.

During a visit to West Bromwich Albion Football Club, William spoke with players who had experienced someone close to them dying by suicide.

"Could I have done more?"

William said: "Having children is the biggest life-changing moment, it really is".

William went on to say that men seem to have an issue with opening up and speaking about suicide.

The coronavirus outbreak has meant the Heads Up project is on hold due to the disruption to football matches across the country.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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