Stratford Town FC (STFC) has welcomed a joint Declaration from the UK football family signifying its support for building a mentally healthy environment at every level of the game, as a lasting legacy of the #HeadsUp campaign.
STFC has long championed mental health awareness, supporting the season-long Heads Up campaign and highlighting the issues to our collective teams.
The Mentally Healthy Football Declaration will see all of UK football recognising that mental health is as important as physical health, and pioneering a ‘team approach’ on this important issue.
The UK football family will build on the important work that clubs and football organisations are already doing, working together to roll out these efforts across the football system, share best practice, and support the development of ‘mentally healthy clubs’ at every level of the game.
The landmark Declaration has been signed by senior figures from across the football system, including the FA, the Premier League, the English Football League (EFL), Scottish FA, Wales FA, Irish FA, League Managers Association (LMA), Professional Footballers Association (PFA), Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) and League Football Education (LFE).
Following an unprecedented season for football, mental health issues are more relevant than ever.
Through the Declaration, football has committed to working together to embed an environment across all of UK football:
- Where players and staff are encouraged to look after their mental health just as they look after their physical health.
- Where they feel able to spot the signs that they, a team-mate or colleague might be struggling and know where to access support.
- Where speaking out about mental health is seen as a sign of strength rather than weakness.
The Declaration will see STFC form a UK-wide mental health implementation group next season, working towards a collective ‘game plan’ for the first time to ensure the mental health of players, staff, managers, coaches and officials is prioritised across the game.
STFC Manager, Paul Davis commented: “As a club we will ensure we do our best by any player, coach or representative when it comes to any concerns over mental health. It is now a massive part of everyday life and football is no different.”
Stratford Town FC Academy and the Development Committee say they fully support the FA Mental Health programme Heads Up.
Steve Walker, Academy Manager says: “We will ensure all players and Managers/Coaches are fully aware of all support that’s available if required. We can all support Mental Health awareness and issues by ensuring we communicate, please don’t be afraid to speak out, We are all here to help and support any member of staff, players alike.
“Stratford Town Academy / FC Stratford / FC Stratford Reserves / U18s U16s U15s teams. Fully support and endorse the Heads Up Programme.”
The Declaration has also been welcomed by Heads Up’s charity partners Mind, CALM and Sporting Chance, who will work with the football club next season to take the Declaration forward.
You can find out more about the Heads Up campaign by visiting: https://www.headstogether.org.uk/
Mentally Heathly Football Declaration Video: https://youtu.be/dhzMET0t5vU
Produced with kind permission from StratfordFC.
BY STEVEN BURGE