• Beth Pritchard

Heads Up - how the Imps are promoting mental health conversations

Lincoln City Women will be getting involved with the upcoming ‘Heads Up’ weekend.

Football is coming together this weekend with the ambition to kick off a conversation around mental health, as new research shows just 1 in 3 football fans regularly talk about mental health with their friends.

For two weekends in February, every football team from across the men’s and women’s football pyramids will dedicate their matches to Heads Up, a partnership between The FA and Heads Together.

Spearheaded by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, the season-long Heads Up campaign aims to harness the influence and popularity of football to normalise the conversation around mental health, working closely with charity partners Mind, CALM and Sporting Chance. The ‘Heads Up Weekends’ aim to highlight the power of conversation as a way to support your friends and dispel stigma., with activity planned at fixtures across the men’s and women’s football calendar.

Football fans are being encouraged to talk to their friends about their mental health issues. Photo: Lincoln City Women.

HRH said: “Imagine if we talked about mental health as much as we talk about football…. Many of us won’t go a day without talking about it. And whatever team we support, every single fan, player and manager has one thing in common – we all have mental health, in the same way that we all have physical health. And we will all face ups and downs in life which will affect it. It’s time we start taking our mental fitness as seriously as we do our physical fitness, and that starts with talking.”

To officially kick off the Heads Up Weekends, and marking Time To Talk Day on Thursday 6th February, The Duke of Cambridge today joined players, managers, representatives and fans from the men’s and women’s game to take part in a table football tournament and a mental health conversation at Heist Bank in London.

The recent survey of 2,014 football fans showed:

  • Football is the number one topic of conversation (75%) between fans and their friends

  • Only 1 in 3 (34%) football fans regularly talk about mental health with their friends – with male fans much less likely to do so (27% of male respondents, compared to 47% of women)

  • Male football fans were over three times more likely to talk about football than mental health with their friends (83%, compared with 27%).

  • 40% of football fans find it easiest to talk about their mental health while busy with other activities – such as while walking or running, driving, going to the pub, or watching sports with a friend

  • 32% would find it easiest to have a face to face conversation at home with no distractions

About Time to Talk Day

Time to Talk Day - February 6 - was established by Time to Change, the mental health anti-stigma campaign run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. It is a day of action where everyone is encouraged to have a conversation about mental health.

It was established seven years ago to encourage more open conversations about the topic of mental health.

(Originally published: https://www.lincolncitywomen.co.uk/post/heads-up-how-the-imps-are-promoting-mental-health-conversations)

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