15 May 2019

Heads Together

Movember proud to support new Heads Up campaign
Mental Health | Fundraising
  • Partnership between Heads Together and The FA will use the power of football to inspire the biggest conversation ever on mental health
  • Heads Up will run throughout the 2019/20 season and be visible across all levels of football in England, culminating in the Emirates FA Cup Final being dedicated to Heads Up next May
  • Movember is proud to support this campaign and help encourage more men to feel comfortable talking about their mental health.
Heads Together and The Football Association [The FA] have today announced an exciting new campaign – Heads Up – to generate the biggest ever conversation around mental health. 
The campaign was announced today at Wembley Stadium connected by EE by The Duke of Cambridge, FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn and Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer. Heads Up will harness the influence and popularity of football to help show the world that mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness, and will build on the decades of work to tackle the stigma and drive the conversation on mental health. 
While it’s aimed at everyone including players, supporters, friends and families, it’s widely recognised that football is a uniquely powerful way to reach men in particular. Men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women, with suicide the most likely cause of death for men under the age of 45. The campaign hopes to encourage more men to feel comfortable talking about their mental health, and feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times.
Heads Up will be launched at The FA Community Shield in August 2019 and will culminate at the May 2020 FA Cup Final, where Emirates has generously agreed to support the Heads Up campaign. The campaign will be visible across all levels of football in England throughout the course of the 2019/20 season, including the men’s and women’s England teams, FA competitions and grassroots – from England matches through to the Emirates FA Cup. The FA will give more details of this broad ambitious campaign at the start of next season at The FA Community Shield. During next season dedicated promotional activity will aim to spark conversations while resources and training will be available to all football participants and FA staff. 
CEO of Movember, Owen Sharp said: “We are delighted to be part of this exciting initiative which we hope will continue to open up the conversation around men’s mental health.

“We know from the work we have done with thousands of men over the last 15 years that many find it easier to open up when they are engaged in an activity - whether that’s fixing the car, sharing a pint or supporting their team on the terraces.
“If you’re a fan, there’s nothing better than football for starting conversations with others who share your passion. It’s a great way of finding common ground with people from all different walks of life, which can lead to lifelong, mutually supportive friendships.”
“That’s why the mental health projects we invest in are based around activity, and in particular team-based sports which are a very powerful way of getting men to work collaboratively and form strong bonds with each other as well as giving them the tools for tackling challenging life situations and managing setbacks.”

The Duke of Cambridge said: "As President of The FA I saw an opportunity to bring the sport I love – that many men talk about more than anything else in their lives – to help lead the next phase of the conversation. Over the last two years, we’ve been working behind the scenes to decide the best way to harness the power of football to change the way men think about mental health. Heads Up will show men that we all have mental health just like we have physical health. Building on the amazing attitude that led England to the World Cup Semi-Finals, it will show us all that mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness."
Martin Glenn, FA’s Chief Executive, said: "Mental health remains one of the biggest issues facing men under the age of 45. Around 12 million people play football in England each year, with even more watching on, and Heads Up will use the power and popularity of football to drive awareness and change. In football and in life we’re constantly talking about physical fitness – but mental fitness is even more important.
"Helping to raise awareness for mental health is a real priority for The FA and we are delighted to partner with The Duke of Cambridge and Heads Together on this project. The FA has already done a lot of great work in this space but we want to ensure English football is set up to be a world leader in sport when it comes to mental health."
The Duke of Cambridge and England manager Gareth Southgate have featured in an emotive film outlining the Heads Up manifesto. The film also included Lionesses’ legend Kelly Smith and the founders of FC Not Alone Matt Legg and Ian McKenzie. To watch and download the film click here.