Football has come together to kick off a conversation about mental health, in a major unifying moment for the sport.
The campaign, which is being supported by clubs in both the men’s and women’s games at all levels, is being spearheaded by HRH The Duke of Cambridge.
Meanwhile, Manchester FA has reaffirmed its own commitment to the mental and physical wellbeing of footballers in Manchester, with the appointment of Stewart Lucas to its Inclusion Advisory Board.
Lucas, who works as Greater Manchester Strategic Lead for mental health charity MIND, commented on his appointment:
“Physical activity has proven again and again to be an effective way of staying mentally well. I am honoured to join the IAB to ensure that playing football, whether it be competitively or simply as a leisure pursuit can be a lifestyle choice for more and more Mancunians.
"Being active is a fundamental human right and I am really pleased to be able to shape the opportunities that will be available for everyone to play football in Greater Manchester.
"You don’t have to be a certain type of person, shape, gender, ethnicity, sexuality or even have a level of fitness. Anyone and everyone can grab a ball, kick it about and be part of the Greater Manchester football family."
According to a new Heads Up survey of 2,014 football fans, carried out by Censuswide, showed:
• Football is the number one topic of conversation (75%) between fans and their friends
• However, only 1 in 3 (34%) football fans regularly talk about mental health with their friends – with male fans much less likely to do so (27% of male respondents, compared to 47% of women). Overall, male football fans were over three times more likely to talk about football than mental health with their friends (83%, compared with 27%).
• Meanwhile, 40% of football fans find it easiest to talk about their mental health while busy with other activities – such as while walking or running, driving, going to the pub, or watching sports with a friend. Meanwhile, 32% would find it easiest to have a face to face conversation at home with no distractions.
Heads up campaign
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