A host of football’s governing bodies, leagues, and other organisations have signed up to a new declaration which commits to making mental health a key priority in the game.
The Mentally Healthy Football Declaration seeks to create a lasting legacy for the Heads Up campaign, set up by Prince William and supported by the football community. The new declaration seeks to ‘scale up’ those efforts, and support the developments of ‘mentally healthy’ clubs at every level of the game.
The declaration has been signed by CEOs and chairs from across football, including The FAs of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, the Premier League, EFL, and Barclays FA Women’s Super League, as well as other organisations across the game, such as the PFA, the LMA and the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL)
Leagues across Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland have also signed up to the Duke of Cambridge led initiative, as have non-league divisions across England including the National League, Southern League and Isthmian League.
Through the declaration, organisations have committed to working together to raise awareness of mental health issues and to create an environment where players, staff, managers and officials are encouraged to look after their mental health just as they look after their physical health; feel able to spot the signs that they, a team-mate or colleague might be struggling and know where to access support; feel empowered to speak out about mental health.
“The Heads Up campaign was a step in the collective journey to end the silence and change the attitudes and behaviours towards mental health," said Mark Bullingham. CEO, The FA.
"The declaration will see football unite to deliver a long-lasting legacy for the campaign. Working together we will continue the progress made to build a culture in the men’s and women’s game that truly supports, listens and signposts."
Godric Smith, Chair, The Heads Up campaign, said: “There has been fantastic leadership from every part of football on mental health this season and today’s declaration cements the huge culture change underway in the game.
"It is a first of its kind and an important moment for sport and society more widely. It comes at a time when prioritising our mental health and supporting each other has never mattered more."