DURHAM FA JOINS AS FOOTBALL UNITES TO KICK OFF BIGGEST EVER CONVERSATION ON MENTAL HEALTH
Durham FA is uniting with football clubs across the country to kick off the biggest ever conversation on mental health.
For two weekends in February, every football team from across the Premier League, English Football League, The National League, The Barclays FA Women’s Super League, The FA Women’s Championship and The FA Women’s National League will dedicate their matches to Heads Up, a partnership between The FA and Heads Together.
Spearheaded by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, Heads Up aims to harness the influence and popularity of football to normalise the conversation around mental health.
The Heads Up Weekends will highlight the power of talking as a way to support one another and dispel the stigma, with activity planned at fixtures across the men’s and women’s football calendar.
Clubs across the nation will join in by displaying the Heads Up emblem across stadiums, programmes and player kit, in a major unifying moment that aims to get the nation talking about mental health.
As part of the Heads Up Weekend, Durham FA will also be encouraging clubs to share key messages of the campaign with their players and members, encouraging fans and players to talk, and also reaching out to members of the community who might need support with their mental health.
With over 15 million football fans in England, Heads Up aims to use the power of football as a way to show the nation that we all have mental health and it is just as important as physical health. Over the Heads Up Weekends, the aim is to reach every single football fan to raise awareness that we will all face ups and downs in life which will affect our mental health, but we can all do more to support each other - and that starts with talking.
The simple power of conversation - talking and listening – can be the first step to better mental health, and to making it OK to say we’re not OK.
John Topping, Company Secretary of Durham FA said "No one should have to face a mental health problem alone and the Heads up weekends will show that we at the grassroots level of the game care and support the campaign. Mental health is as important as Physical health and everyone suffers setbacks in life and has ups and downs but some do not like talking about problems unless it is to friends. Use the weekends to ensure those you know are well and are ok and ask if they have any problems or issues you can help with."
Kelly Simmons, The FA’s Director of the Women’s Professional Game said: “It’s significant that clubs across the men’s and women’s football pyramid are uniting together around such an important societal issue. Over recent years the women’s game has been home to inspirational role models who have spoken with courage about their mental wellbeing and now because of the Heads Up campaign and the excellent work conducted by the leagues and clubs, we hope that these individuals are no longer the lone voices but part of a societal change for us all to speak more openly about mental health. We’re grateful to all our clubs in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship and FA Women’s National leagues for their unequivocal support and look forward to the positive change that this weekend will have.”
Whether you or someone you know is struggling, or if you want to help dispel the stigma, kick off a conversation about mental health this weekend.
Join the conversation using #KickOffAConversation and #HeadsUp.
Find out more and get tips from Heads Up’s charity partners (Mind, CALM, Sporting Chance and Heads Together) – visit www.headstogether.org.uk/heads-up.
Those wanting immediate support can also text ‘HeadsUp’ to 85258 to connect with a trained crisis volunteer – a service run by ‘Shout’ and powered by Crisis Text Line, which is available 24/7 and free to text from most mobile networks.