03 Jan 2020
HEADS UP: FOOTBALL UNITES FOR MENTAL HEALTH
The LMA and the football family across the UK are coming together to support the Heads Up mental health campaign spearheaded by The Duke of Cambridge in 2020. The campaign will be supported by all four national governing bodies (The FA, SFA, FAW and IFA), as well as the Premier League, the English Football League, The Barclays FA Women’s Super League, The FA Women’s Championship, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the Professional Game Match Officials and the League Managers Association.
Heads Up, an FA and Heads Together partnership, aims to harness the influence and power of football to generate the biggest conversation ever on mental health and build on the great work already happening across the game. There will be a number of key Heads Up moments during 2020.
Emirates FA Cup Third Round - Take A Minute
For the first time ever, all 32 Emirates FA Cup Third Round matches will kick-off one minute later than their traditionally scheduled timeslots, to encourage fans to ‘Take A Minute’ to start looking after their mental health. Heads Up is working in partnership with Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters to draw attention to the simple steps we can all take to look after our mental health and wellbeing, with 60 seconds representing the first step in the journey to improved mental health.
A powerful new film from Heads Up and Every Mind Matters, voiced by The Duke of Cambridge and featuring Frank Lampard, Harry Maguire, Alex Scott, Dele Alli, Jordan Pickford, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Son Heung-Min, Hamza Choudhury and Slaven Bilic, will encourage football fans to ‘Take A Minute’ to take action on their mental health. The one minute film will be played in stadiums and broadcast to millions as kick-off times across all Third Round fixtures are delayed by one minute.
Fans will be encouraged to get their own ‘Mind Plan’, a quick and free tool on the Every Mind Matters website that has already been completed nearly one million times since it launched in October. By ‘taking a minute’ to answer a few questions about how they are feeling, fans will get their own personalised action plan designed to deal with stress, boost their mood, improve sleep and feel more in control – and preventing these common mental health concerns escalating into more serious, clinical conditions.
Heads Up Weekends
Football will come together over two weekends in February to support the Heads Up campaign. The ‘Heads Up Weekends’ will see The Premier League, English Football League, The Barclays FA Women’s Super League, The FA Women’s Championship and The FA Women’s National Leagues dedicate matches to Heads Up over the weekends of 8th and 9th February, and the Premier League again over the 15th and 16th February, collectively raising awareness of the importance of mental health amongst football fans.
England / Italy - Heads Up International
England will host Italy at Wembley Stadium in The Heads Up International on Friday 27 March (8pm kick-off). The fixture, which is the first of four tests to help the Three Lions prepare for next summer’s UEFA EURO 2020, will spotlight mental health on an international stage – the first ever England international fixture to do so.
Emirates FA Cup Final
The Emirates FA Cup Final in May will be dedicated to Heads Up. BBC One will also broadcast ‘A Royal Road To Wembley: Tackling Mental Health’ (w/t), in which viewers will follow The Duke as he works in partnership with The FA to raise awareness of male mental fitness. The film will follow the narrative of the FA Cup, from the first qualifying round in September all the way through to the Final, and will feature the stories of men who have been affected by mental health, as The Duke discusses the issue with fans and footballers alike.
The Duke of Cambridge, President of The FA, said: “Over the course of the next five months, Heads Up will use one of the most powerful, unifying forces in our society – football – to spread the message that we all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Our ambition is to start the largest ever conversation on mental health and to ensure there is a lasting mental health legacy for the game in this country. I hope Heads Up can help us all take another big step forward in shattering the stigma that surrounds mental health.”
Gareth Southgate, the England Men’s Senior Manager, said: “I know what an important role football can play in driving positive change in society so we're proud that our fixture against Italy at Wembley Stadium on Friday 27th March will be dedicated to the Heads Up campaign. Hopefully this will provide another platform to generate open and honest conversation about mental health and well-being.”
Heads Up is a partnership between The FA and Heads Together, spearheaded by The Duke of Cambridge, which aims to encourage more people – and particularly men – to feel as comfortable talking about mental health as they do football. The season-long campaign signposts those in need of support to its four charity partners: Heads Together, Mind, CALM and Sporting Chance. 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.