Heads Together initiative makes its way into professional English football as the authorities address the elephant in the room.

What is the declaration about?

Mental health issues have remained unaddressed and unacknowledged for far too long. Recent endeavors to bring forth this issue into light by different organizations at various places has been highly appreciated. On the 27th of July, numerous associations of UK football joined hands to sign a declaration that prioritizes Mental Health.
The priority of this liaison lies in putting efforts at the development of “mentally healthy” clubs for all age divisions. Post this declaration, football fraternity all across the United Kingdom will commence and ramp up their work to create a safe, understanding, and supportive environment at all ranks.

The ones for it:

This decision has been supported unanimously as The FA – the Premier League, the English Football League (EFL), the Scottish FA, FA Wales, the Irish FA, League Managers Association (LMA), Professional Footballers Association (PFA), Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), League Football Education (LFE), The Barclays FA Women’s Super League, The FA Women’s Championship, The FA Women’s National League, The National League, The Northern Premier League, The Southern League, The Isthmian League as well as other concerned parties have all signed the declaration.

Prince William, The President of The FA and The Duke of Cambridge, said that this initiative will be important for those directly involved in the sports as well as for the millions of fans worldwide. In the video that was released which announced the signing of the declaration, The Duke said that not only will the declaration benefit the future generations who toil hard and break their sweat while working for the game and even playing in it, but it will do more. It also conveys a clear and resounding message to the millions of football fans across the globe about the importance of mental health.
“That is a legacy we can all be proud of, following a season we will never forget,” he said.

Heads up! Looking in the right direction:

The declaration aims at creating an ambiance in the footballing community where players, coaches, and staff tend after their mental well being like they tend after their bodies. They will also be encouraged to notice signs of their mental health’s degradation as well as of their colleagues and they’ll be also encouraged to reach out for help. The stigmatized notion of mental health, the ignorance that is wrapped around it will be targeted to be buried for good while opening up and speaking about mental health will be prompted.

Mark Bullingham, who happens to be the Chief Executive of The FA stated that this working together will ensure the continuation of the progress made to establish a culture in the world of men’s and women’s sport that truly listens to supports and signposts. This effort is indeed heeded to the call of the hour as the stigma that revolves around the issue is an unnecessary burden that is best shrugged off for a better, more compassionate tomorrow.
In these unprecedented times of intense isolation from the social world, degradation of mental condition is rampant. A compromised mental state may hinder a person’s life in unthinkable ways. With Football being the most popular sport, the players and staff always have the eye of the public. The omnipresence of social media only boosts this interest. Criticisms and comments about professional and well as personal issues are only too common. The constant beam of a spotlight, scrutiny, lack of privacy, undue or unwanted comments, etc can all cause mental distress to footballers and staff alike. So it is impeccably important for the footballing community of the UK to come together for this noble initiative.

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