A special infographic is aiming to help grassroots football clubs break the stigma around mental health by using social media to raise awareness of the support available.
The editable ‘Mental Health Awareness in Football’ infographic, which is available to download at www.essexfa.com, features contact details for many organisations, including the Samaritans and Mind. The custom PDF file allows clubs to add their name and pledge to join the Essex County FA in highlighting that sport can play a huge role in tackling stigma and its effects by:
* breaking down boundaries between people with and without mental health problems
* creating social integrations and boosting self-confidence
* tackling physical health inequalities
Cindi Chatha, Essex County FA Inclusion Development Officer, explained: “We’ve seen a number of clubs displaying the infographic on social media, which is really encouraging. It’s great to witness grassroots football coming together.”
“We’d like many more to help raise awareness of the support available to anyone who might like to access it. Football has some very strong communities who can break a taboo and make it easier to talk to friends and team mates about mental wellbeing.”
The infographic further builds on FA guidance to coaches and managers working across the adult football pyramid, advising them on how to support the mental wellbeing of their players. A guide has been produced in partnership with Mind and a mental health advisory group.
The 36-page publication forms an important part of The FA and Heads Together’s ‘Heads Up’ campaign, which seeks to harness the influence and popularity of football to drive the biggest ever conversation on mental health.
In addition to information and advice on mental health and wellbeing, the guidance notes have been created to help coaches and managers spot the signs of problems, predominantly amongst male players. It gives them the confidence to support, as well as signposts to specialist help where necessary, including Heads Up’s charity partners and a 24/7 text support service.
Download the ‘Mental Health Awareness in Football Infographic’ below and add your club’s name. Then post it on Twitter (tagging @EssexCountyFA) and on other social media. For more details on Heads Up, and to download the new FA guide, visit the FA website and the Heads Together website.