The Duke was speaking in a film showing senior leaders from the breadth of the UK's football community signing the declaration on a video call this month, and also features players and managers - including England's Harry Kane, Steph Houghton and Gareth Southgate - reaffirming their support for mental health.
Following an unprecedented season for football, mental health issues are more relevant than ever. Through the declaration, football has committed to working together to continue raising awareness of mental health, and to embed an environment across UK football where:
- Players, staff, managers and officials are encouraged to look after their mental health just as they look after their physical health
- Players, staff, managers and officials feel able to spot the signs that they, a team-mate or colleague might be struggling and know where to access support
- Speaking out about mental health is seen as a sign of strength rather than weakness
The landmark declaration has been signed by CEOs and chairs from across football, including - as well 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 and The Isthmian League.
Mark Bullingham, The FA chief executive, joined director of the women's professional game Kelly Simmons and vice chair Jack Pearce in signing the declaration on a video call with The Duke earlier this month.
“The Heads Up campaign was a step in the collective journey to end the silence and change the attitudes and behaviours towards mental health," said Bullingham.
"The declaration will see football unite to deliver a long-lasting legacy for the campaign. Working together we will continue the progress made to build a culture in the men’s and women’s game that truly supports, listens and signposts."
The declaration has been welcomed by Heads Up’s charity partners Mind, CALM and Sporting Chance, who provided insight and expertise and will continue to work with the signatories next season as they take the commitments forward.
“There has been fantastic leadership from every part of football on mental health this season and today’s declaration cements the huge culture change underway in the game," said Godric Smith, chair of the Heads Up campaign.
"It is a first of its kind and an important moment for sport and society more widely. It comes at a time when prioritising our mental health and supporting each other has never mattered more."
If you need urgent help, you can contact Samaritans, they’re available to offer support 24/7 every single day of the year.
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