David Beckham tells Prince William how he’s teaching his children about mental health

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  • David Beckham and the Duke of Cambridge have discussed teaching their children about mental health in a video call.


    David – who is dad to Brooklyn, 21, Romeo, 17, Cruz, 15, and Harper, nine, opened up in a chat following the UK football family signing a joint declaration, committing to make mental health a key priority.

    The former England captain told Prince William: “I’m the one who is preaching to my kids and also other kids that I talk to out there that it’s really important to talk, it’s really important to say if you’re not okay, because like you’ve said that this time more than any time, there’ll be a lot of sportsmen, a lot of footballers that have had four or five months off that are coming back into the game that have been anxious over this time.

    “We all know now it’s okay not to be okay and it’s okay to say that. It’s okay to come out and say ‘I need help’.”

    William also asked David about his infamous sending off in the 1998 World Cup and how it affected his confidence at the age of 23.

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    David said: “When I look back on it now, I didn’t realise how hard it was but I just remember the times where I faced adversity throughout my career, ‘98 was by far the toughest.”

    David explained that the England manager Sir Alex Ferguson protected him at the time, but when he was on the pitch and in front of the crowds, his mental health took a knock.

    He said: “Once you’re on the field, you have to mentally prepare for that, you have to really understand that yes, you have your teammates, but that doesn’t make you stop thinking ‘what are they saying about me in the crowds?’

    “I think I went through that at a very young age. I made a mistake, you know, I made a mistake in ‘98 and the reaction at the time was pretty brutal. I was constantly criticised on the pitch verbally.”

    David believes that it would’ve been even worse for him if it had happened now, due to social media, and thinks it’s his family, including his wife, Victoria Beckham, who got him through.

    He said: “If social media was around when I was going through that time in ‘98, it would have been a whole different story.

    “But I was lucky. I had a support system within Manchester United and the manager and obviously family, but did I feel at the time it was okay to ask someone and say, ‘I need help’? – I would say no, no, it was a different era and I just felt I had to keep it all in and deal with it myself.”