Prince Harry Announces Mental Health Charter Ahead of Rugby League World Cup 2021

Prince Harry hosted the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's, and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on Thursday morning. This comes within an hour of announcing that a new initiative centered around mental health would be introduced for the World Cup 2021.

"Introducing the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Mental Fitness Charter — a new initiative created by the RFL that will champion the importance of good mental fitness and create sustainable legacy the sport can be proud of," a statement said on the Sussex Royal Instagram account.

"The perception of Rugby League is that you need to be tough, you can't show your feelings, you have to grin and bear it," the duke says in the Instagram video. "But something like the Mental Fitness Charter will help us made real progress in getting rid of the stigma associated with mental illness and remind people that it is not just about being physically fit but more importantly mentally strong."

This comes at an important time with suicide being the leading cause of death for men aged 20-39 in the UK. "Given that 93% of the 42,000 Rugby league players and 70% of spectators are male, the mental fitness charter is of huge importance," the statement continues.

The Duke of Sussex has been the Patron of the Rugby Football League since December 2016, and given his ongoing dedication to destigmatizing mental health — particularly among men — this pairing makes sense. The Rugby League World Cup 2021 will take place across the UK between Oct. 23 and Nov. 27, 2021.