Report published to reaffirm our joint commitment to supporting mental health

Sunday 08 May 2022
The Mentally Healthy Football Declaration is the legacy of the Heads Up campaign

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, The FA and other signatories of the Mentally Healthy Football Declaration have published a progress report to reaffirm our joint commitment to supporting mental wellbeing and to encourage participants and fans to look after their mental health.

Together, our goal is to keep up the conversation on mental health and to prioritise it at every level of our game, as we know that football has the power to bring people together. Talking and listening can be the first step to better mental health – and to making it okay to say we’re not okay. We can all do more to support each other, and that starts with talking.

You can read the report here.

The Mentally Healthy Football Declaration is the legacy of the Heads Up campaign. This partnership between The FA and Heads Together, spearheaded by FA President HRH The Duke of Cambridge, aimed to harness the influence and popularity of football to change the conversation on mental health.

The campaign raised awareness, sparked conversation, and signposted support for those in need, highlighting to the nation that we all have mental health – and that it's just as important as physical health. That message remains as important than ever.

Together, the UK football family continues to build on the important work that clubs and football organisations are already doing, working together to scale up these efforts and support the development of ‘mentally-healthy' clubs at every level of the game.

For The FA, this means a commitment and a four-year strategy to support the mental health and wellbeing of our employees and national teams. This work includes providing access to specialist support for all, content centred on how people can individually and collectively prioritise mental health and wellbeing, as well as mandatory training and education programmes being delivered for our employees. Our relationship with mental health charity Sporting Chance continues to develop and it remains a critical partner as we seek to show how sport can use its collective power to deliver change.

Sporting Chance was founded by former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams MBE, aiming to create a culture of openness around mental health and wellbeing across sport. The charity is central to the support for our England Men’s, Women’s, Para and Development teams, ensuring that mental health and emotional support services can be accessed by every England player both in and out of camp.

Sporting Chance’s support also extends to FA employees, providing them with professional supervision and one-to-one support. Those operating on the front line for major events, such as today, are also offered a 24-hour helpline, recognising the challenging and high-pressure environment they can find themselves working in. 
Furthermore, as part of our commitment to ensuring our employees can experience positive mental health and wellbeing, we’ve recently recruited 27 individuals from across the organisation to become Mental Health Ambassadors in the first of an annual programme.

A Mental Health Ambassador is someone who proactively advocates for mental health in their department and their working environment. They are trained in how to promote positive mental health and wellbeing to their fellow colleagues, have supportive conversations, and signpost towards help when needed 
If anybody reading this is struggling or concerned about somebody close to them, we’d encourage you to reach out, start off small and have that first conversation. There is always somebody who cares, who can listen, and who can help.

For additional support you can contact the Samaritans, which offers 24/7 support, or CALM between 5pm-midnight. For more information and advice, you can also contact mental health charity Mind.

Samaritans: 116 123 / 
CALM: 0800 58 58 58
Mind: 0300 123 3393 /


By FA Staff