Football has come together to sign a joint Declaration committing to make mental health a key priority at all levels of the game, as a lasting legacy of the Heads Up campaign.
The ‘Mentally Healthy Football’ Declaration will see governing bodies, leagues and organisations from across UK football recognising that mental health is as important as physical health, and pioneering a ‘team approach’ on this important issue. Together, the UK football family will build on the important work that clubs and football organisations are already doing, working together to scale up these efforts across the football system and support the development of ‘mentally healthy clubs’ at every level of the game.
- The entire UK football system has committed to working together to embed a mentally healthy culture across the game
- Signatories include all four home nations’ FAs, the Premier League, EFL, National League, the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, and national bodies representing players, managers, officials and academies
- Ahead of the ‘Heads Up FA Cup Final’, The Duke of Cambridge has welcomed the Declaration as a ‘legacy we can all be proud of, following a season we will never forget’.
In a video marking the signing of the Mentally Healthy Football Declaration, The Duke of Cambridge said: ‘Not only will [the Declaration] benefit future generations who work and play within the game, but it will also send a clear message to football’s millions of fans about the importance of mental health. That is a legacy we can all be proud of – following a season we will never forget.’
The short film also shows senior leaders from the breadth of UK football signing the Declaration on a video call with The Duke earlier this month, and also features players and managers reaffirming their support for mental health - including England men’s manager Gareth Southgate, England men’s captain Harry Kane, Scotland men’s captain Andy Robertson, Northern Ireland women’s captain Marissa Callaghan, and Wales women’s captain Sophie Ingle.
Following an unprecedented season for football, mental health issues are more relevant than ever. Through the Declaration, which was convened by The Royal Foundation, football has committed to working together to continue raising awareness of mental health, and to embed an environment across UK football:
- Where players, staff, managers and officials are encouraged to look after their mental health just as they look after their physical health;
- where they feel able to spot the signs that they, a team-mate or colleague might be struggling and know where to access support;
- and where speaking out about mental health is seen as a sign of strength rather than weakness.
Somerset FA upholds this commitment to everyone in our game through our partnership with MIND in Somerset for the benefit of all participant's mental health in our beautiful game. More joint initiatives between us and MIND will take place across the next season and we look forward to bringing mental health to the forefront of our collective conversations.
Get involved and download the pledge boards for your club below