27 Jul 2020
LMA JOINS UK FOOTBALL FAMILY TO SIGN LANDMARK MENTAL HEALTH DECLARATION
The LMA has joined other football organisations to sign a joint Declaration committing to building a mentally healthy environment at all levels of the game, as a lasting legacy of the Heads Up campaign.
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 scale up these efforts across the football system and develop ‘mentally healthy clubs’ at every level of the game.
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;
- and where speaking out about mental health is seen as a sign of strength rather than weakness.
The landmark Declaration has also been signed by other CEOs from across the football ecosystem, including the FA, the Premier League, the English Football League (EFL), Scottish FA, Wales FA, Irish FA, Professional Footballers Association (PFA), Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) and League Football Education (LFE).
Richard Bevan, LMA Chief Executive, signed the declaration on a video call with The Duke earlier this month, alongside other senior leaders of each organisation.
Richard said: “The pressures of daily life affect us all in different ways. For many, football offers a release through playing, coaching and watching our nation’s sport. For professional practitioners in the game, the pressures can be amplified and to survive long enough to succeed they need to be in peak condition, physically and mentally. We are confident that this game-wide campaign will support participants at all levels of football to create a peer-to-peer support network and tackle the stigma of opening up about our mental health.
"The Declaration will see us 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. Together, the group will share best practice and progress towards the pledges in the declaration, which include rolling out training, education and guidance to all clubs, implementing mental health strategies, and embedding mental health within policies and practices."