Saints Foundation celebrated the Heads Up campaign by joining forces with other football clubs across the pyramid in an initiative to get fans talking about their mental health.
Led by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, the campaign comes as new research from Heads Up today shows that fans are more than twice as likely to talk about football than mental health.
Football is coming together with the ambition to kick off the biggest ever conversation around mental health, as new research shows just 1 in 3 football fans regularly talk about mental health with their friends.
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, The FA Women’s National League will dedicate their matches to Heads Up, a partnership between The FA and Heads Together.
Joining The Duke of Cambridge at the Premier League headquarters was Saints Foundation Project Officer, Lisa Latona, alongside Saints4Sport participant Richard, who spoke about the benefits of our sessions to both physical and mental health.
Saints4Sport aims to support those going through some of life’s biggest challenges, such as alcohol and substance misuse. Rich had struggles with his own mental health, but with the help of Lisa and Saints4Sport has been able to turn his life around, winning the first Jordan Willsher Award at Saints Foundation’s Charity Dinner last year – a prize to recognise a participant’s commitment and dedication to transforming their lives.
In a message written in every matchday programme across Heads Up Weekends last month, The Duke of Cambridge said: “Imagine if we talked about mental health as much as we talk about football.
“Many of us won’t go a day without talking about it. And whatever team we support, every single fan, player and manager has one thing in common – we all have mental health, in the same way that we all have physical health. And we will all face ups and downs in life which will affect it. It’s time we start taking our mental fitness as seriously as we do our physical fitness, and that starts with talking.”
The Heads Up Weekends take place over 8th – 9th February and 14th - 17th February. Fans are encouraged to 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.