On World Mental Health Day, the Amateur FA were proud to launch a new scheme, Mental Health Champions, in a bid to support those suffering with their mental health within our game.
There are in excess of 22,000 individuals playing within the Amateur FA, the majority of whom are male. Therefore, when you learn that suicide is the most common cause of death for men under the age of 45 (Office for National Statistics; Campaign Against Living Miserably); with men in the UK three times more likely than women to take their own lives (Samaritans), leading to suicide rates in England and Wales reaching their highest levels for two decades in 2019 (Office for National Statistics), then you can understand our desire to offer some assistance to support this cause.
As a result, over the course of this season, the Amateur FA will be offering their member clubs the opportunity to enrol one of their volunteers onto the Mental Health Aware course from Mental Health First Aid England.
This qualification will educate learners with a basic knowledge of some common mental health issues and build confidence to be able to support and guide someone in distress. The upskilled individual can then represent the club as a Mental Health Champion and be someone for the club’s members to speak to in a comfortable and familiar environment if they ever need some help.
The course lasts three hours and would normally cost individuals around £100; however, thanks to The FA’s Innovation Fund, we are able to offer these places at £30 per person to our member clubs. Individuals can apply for a space for the upcoming courses via this online application form.
James Tierney, Football Development Manager is pleased to see the scheme emerge, “Football is seen to improve your physical health, but the Amateur FA want to show looking after your mental health is just as important and can be done in within grassroots football to foster a safer environment. We would encourage all our clubs to take advantage of being able to access this course whilst we can offer it at the subsidised rate."
Download our health and well-being guide here.