The FA has embarked on a wide-ranging campaign called 'Heads Up', in partnership with the Royal Foundation, of which FA President Prince William is a co-founder and patron.
Through football, the goal of 'Heads Up' is to generate greater awareness of mental health and start normalising conversations about the issue. The FA also want to emphasise that mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. As part of their commitment to this campaign, The FA will produce a series of guidance notes to help those in football spot the signs of mental illness, support anyone who is suffering or affected and signpost them to specialist help, if needed.
The first of these guidance notes is below. As you'll see from the front cover, it's for coaches and managers in adult football. Collectively, coaches and managers come into contact more often with more football participants - particularly players-than anyone else. The guidance is also predominantly aimed at men, given men are more likely to take their own lives than women, with suicide the most likely cause of death for men under the age of 45. And football is a uniquely powerful way to reach men. Further guidance will be produced for other participant groups. This is just the kick-off.
So that you're aware, The FA will do regular monthly features to coaches and managers through their online resource for coaches, The Boot Room, using some of the helpful tips covered in this publication. But The FA also encourage you to put these guidance notes on your website and any other communication channels you have.
Apart from the other guidance notes The FA will be producing, they will also be thinking about further ways to embed awareness of mental heal the in the football community. This will be based on research into the effectiveness of the 'Heads Up' campaign, to shape our future plans.
Download guidance notes here