John McGinn has got involved in an important conversation with royalty as the Aston Villa and Scotland star lead a discussion on mental health.
South of the border, the Premier League and FA Cup has been displaying and supporting the Heads Up campaign. It is aiming to get people talking about mental health and awareness surrounding the topic.
Prince William has been one prominent figure promoting the campaign. He is currently the president of the FA and as such, has used his position to tackle the issue within football.
The man discussing this topic with the Duke of Cambridge was McGinn. The Scotland international had the chance to engage with the Aston Villa royal and talk about this important subject.
“We felt that there was an awful lot of opportunity here with football,” the Duke of Cambridge told McGinn on Sky Sports.
“16-odd million people around the country follow football – and I thought we could use the power of the sport and really elevate mental health to another level and allow people to have that conversation and understand that it’s OK to talk and it’s OK not to be OK.”
It’s an important chat that needs to be had in the wider community, not just in football. In the UK during 2018, there were 6,507 suicides and it is three times more likely for men to die by suicide than women.
Deaths by suicide rose 10.9% during 2018 too. Alarmingly in Scotland, the suicide rate in young people aged between 15-24 increased by 52.4% (Samaritans).
Respected figures like Prince William and Aston Villa star McGinn talking about this subject raises important awareness and the initiative itself will prove a pivotal talking point in the football community.