Prince William attends Mental Health Awareness week hosted by Big Hearts  

19 May 2022

Prince William attends Mental Health Awareness week hosted by Big Hearts  

The Duke of Cambridge joined the Mental Health Awareness week as part of his visit to Scotland.  

The theme of the week is loneliness, with improving men’s social connections central to the ethos of The Changing Room. The programme gives men the opportunity to come together, not just for a blether about the football, but also for the chance to get the stuff that’s bothering them off their chests.

His Royal Highness visited The Shed, Big Hearts’ community space at the Hearts Stadium, where he met with participants from The Changing Room, a mental health project led by SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health). 

The Changing Room was launched at Big Hearts in the autumn of 2018 and uses the beautiful game to encourage men aged 34 to 60 to start conversations about their mental health and wellbeing. The project is now taking place at over 16+ football grounds across Scotland. 

“It was a great honour to welcome the Duke of Cambridge to Big Hearts Community Trust and talk about our charity’s work harnessing the power of football to help people take care of their mental health and wellbeing.” (…)”We were delighted to shine a light on The Changing Room initiative hosted at Tynecastle Park every week and enable His Royal Highness to take part in conversations with a group of football supporters attending the project.”

Craig Wilson, General Manager of Big Hearts

The Duke of Cambridge met with representatives of partner organisations (some of them EFDN members), including SAMH, Heart of Midlothian Football Club, Big Hearts Community Trust, the Movember Foundation, the Falkirk Foundation, the Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh and the SPFL Trust, and had the chance to participate in a ‘walk and talk’ around Tynecastle Park, which is a core part of the 12-week programme.

“We were delighted to welcome the Duke of Cambridge to The Changing Room today; it is a programme that we are immensely proud of, and that we know has made a difference to so many men’s lives.” (…) “The Changing Room shows us that while men sometimes struggle to talk about how they feel; when the environment is right, and when men feel supported, they are not just good at talking, they are actually great at it.” (…) “It has been fantastic to see Scottish football really embrace the importance of mental health and wellbeing. The Changing Room would not be possible without the brilliant collaborative approach of our partners: Movember Foundation, the Scottish Government, SPFL Trust, and football club charities and trusts across Scotland.”

Billy Watson, Chief Executive of SAMH and Chairman of Big Hearts

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