Sports specialist Dark Horses and Omnicom marketing agency Fuse have been appointed by The Football Association (FA) and young people’s charity Heads Together to design and deliver Heads Up, a new initiative using the influence and popularity of football to highlight mental health issues.
Heir to the throne and FA president the Duke of Cambridge and England manager Gareth Southgate feature in an emotive film outlining the Heads Up manifesto (below), premiered at the announcement today. The film also includes Lionesses’ legend Kelly Smith, members of Barnet Walking Football Team, and the founders of FC Not Alone, Matt Legg and Ian McKenzie.
Heads Up will begin at The FA Community Shield in August 2019 and will culminate at The Emirates FA Cup Final in May 2020. The campaign will run across all levels of football in England through the 2019/20 season, including the men’s and women’s England teams, FA competitions and grassroots.
Fuse MD Stephen Hutchison says: “There couldn’t be a better time to launch this campaign with The FA and Heads Together, with the conversation on mental wellbeing being powered by something people feel passionately about – football. We are thrilled to be working on this campaign and think it is a game changer for the discussion around mental health.”
Dark Horses founder Simon Dent says: “The current narrative around mental health is leading to perceptions that mental health is a black and white issue; it’s something you suffer from you or you don’t. This campaign tries to get people to recognise that mental health is something that we all have and need to maintain, just like our physical health.”