Mental Health

Heads Up

Let's talk about mental health as much as we talk about football

Imagine if we talked about mental health as much as we talk about football. It’s our national game – passionately followed and wholeheartedly loved by millions in the UK and billions around the world. Many of us won’t go a day without talking about it.

That’s why Heads Together partnered with The FA to start Heads Up, a campaign that uses football to normalise the conversation around mental health. Through Heads Up, our aim is to help people feel as comfortable talking about mental health as they are talking football.

Football fans

Heads Up aims to harness the influence and popularity of football to kick off a conversation about mental health among supporters, players, friends and families.

It is also recognised that football is an effective way to reach men in particular, who we know are less likely to seek help for mental health concerns, with suicide being the lead cause of death for men under the age of 45 in this country.

In February 2020, the ‘Heads Up Weekends’ saw every fixture across the Premier League, EFL and women’s game being dedicated to mental health, urging every football fan across the country to ‘kick off a conversation’ about mental health.

Mental fitness

We all have mental health – just as we all have physical health, we all have ups and downs which will affect it. It’s time we start taking our mental fitness as seriously as we do our physical fitness – and there are always steps we can take to stay on top of our mental wellbeing.

That’s why Heads Up partnered with Every Mind Matters in January 2020 to delay all matches in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round by 60 seconds, encouraging fans to ‘take a minute’ to start looking after their own mental health.

The collaboration saw 87,417 people get their own personalised ‘Mind Plan’ from Evey Mind Matters over the Third Round Weekend – more people than attended last season’s sold out Emirates FA Cup Final. Each of these fans is now better equipped to look after their mental health.

Charity partners

Heads Up works closely with our charity partners – Mind, CALM, Sporting Chance and Heads Together – to signpost fans to tips and resources around mental health and wellbeing.

Heads Up is also The FA’s nominated charity and sees The FA work alongside Heads Up’s charity partners to raise vital funds for mental health initiatives and support.

“We are here today to take a big step in shattering this silence. We are going to use one of the most powerful, unifying forces in our society – football – to start the biggest ever conversation on mental health.”

The Duke of Cambridge