As this country’s national sport, football has a duty to try to tackle national issues where it can have a positive impact.
The FA is endorsing a number of campaigns to promote health and equality in football, including:
All of these can be accessed via The FA's Equality webpage.
Below are some more resources and information in support of these FA campaigns.
Time to Change is a programme delivered by the leading mental health charities Mind and Rethink. It is England's biggest ever programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination. The FA is a partner of Time to Change, and is supporting the programme's work in football.
People with mental health problems are significantly more likely than the general population to have physical health problems, and are much more likely to be unemployed than people with a physical disability. As a result, social exclusion can be a major issue and can further damage mental health.
Sport has the power to help tackle this inequality. Physical activity is part of the best practice treatment of some mental health conditions, for example depression. Sports clubs can also provide a safe environment for social interaction; this can be vital in helping recovery from some mental health problems. Put simply, sport has the power to save lives through physical activity and social inclusion.
For more information about mental health awareness in sport, see the Mental Health Awareness in Sport resource pack, which looks at the common types of mental health problems, highlights successful sportsmen and sportswomen who have suffered from them, and provides guidance for dealing with people with mental health problems in a sporting context.
Also, read A Sporting Chance, an article about how professional sports bodies are starting to recognise the importance of looking after the mental wellbeing of elite sportsmen and sportswomen, and how sport also plays a part in helping young people overcome mental health problems. (Previously published in Young Minds magazine, Issue 113.)
Football v Homophobia (FvH) is an international initiative opposing homophobia in football. In England it is The FA’s endorsed campaign to tackle homophobia and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in grassroots football. Across football in the UK it is the largest specifically designed campaign to tackle issues around homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. FvH runs all year round to enable people to take action against prejudice and discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity in football, and to celebrate and welcome diversity.
FvH provides support, communication materials, education and training to enable anyone to communicate and promote the message that football is for everyone.
For more information about FvH, see the Football v Homophobia toolkit.