Mata: Find support with people you trust

17 Feb 2020

Man Utd midfielder opens up on the importance of talking about mental health as part of the Heads Up campaign

The Premier League and the rest of England's football family have kicked off a conversation about mental health, in support of the "Heads Up Weekends" launched by HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

Chelsea's home fixture against Manchester United on Monday evening is the latest match across English football dedicated to Heads Up, a partnership between The FA and Heads Together.

Ahead of the trip to his former club, Man Utd midfielder Juan Mata shared his thoughts regarding the importance of opening up about your feelings.

"I think it's always better to try to speak," says Mata. "Each individual reacts to different challenges in different ways, but I think everyone feels better after speaking with friends and family or whoever you can trust, to open up and really tell how you feel.

"I think it helps to share what you're feeling because you can have another point of view."

'It's OK not to be OK'

The Heads Up campaign aims to harness the influence and popularity of football to normalise the conversation around mental health issues.

"In life and in football, the mental part of it is very important," Mata added. "We have high demands, pressure and expectations.

"You are exposed to critics, so [it's important] to be able to be stable in your mind and accepting that it's OK not to be OK all the time, and just find support with people you can trust.

"The next day will be a new day and you can change things."

See: How clubs backed Heads Up Weekends

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