The Premier League’s Inside Matters campaign returns today, with the League and clubs encouraging fans to check in on each other and talk about mental health. The campaign will be visible at all Premier League matches between 11 and 15 May.

As part of the campaign, Premier League players, managers and club experts discuss their own experiences and share thoughts on the importance of talking about mental health in a series of videos.

The League has also launched new curriculum-linked education resources on mental wellbeing, which are available to more than 19,000 primary schools across England and Wales.

New research commissioned by the Premier League reveals that 84 per cent of fans believe football helps start conversations, with 82 per cent comfortable talking about their own mental health.

More than two thirds (68 per cent) say they would talk to the friends they see at football about their mental health, which rises to 83 per cent among young men aged 18-34.

To help fans kick off those conversations, the Premier League has collaborated with the Mental Health Foundation to provide questions and advice which supports people with discussions on mental wellbeing.

Fans can find these resources and a range of Inside Matters content on our campaign homepage.

“Football has the power to bring people together and get them talking,” said Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters. “We want to use that to encourage fans to check in regularly with each other and have meaningful conversations around mental health.

“Fans go through so many highs and lows together each season watching their teams. This gives them a unique bond and it doesn’t take much to find the time to ask questions on mental wellbeing and point towards people support if they need it.

“Having people to talk to and a friendly ear to listen can make a big difference for anybody who is struggling. We are pleased to develop simple tools in conjunction with the Mental Health Foundation that will help fans kick off these important conversations.”

Dr David Crepaz-Keay, Head of Research and Applied Learning at the Mental Health Foundation, added: “Football is a great conversation starter for so many people.

“Through the resources we have created in conjunction with the Premier League, we are providing fans with the means to engage others in positive discussions around mental wellbeing.

“We want to encourage more people to have an open conversation about how they are truly feeling and to seek extra support if they need it.”

This activity is part of wider work by the League and clubs to embed mental health and wellbeing into key policies and practices to support work with players, fans, communities and schools.

In 2020, the Premier League signed up to the “Mentally Healthy Football Declaration”, committing to make mental health a key priority at all levels of the game.

Through the Declaration, the League and other football bodies are working to create a mentally healthy culture across the game by supporting those involved with raising awareness, training and education.

The new Premier League Primary Stars Wellbeing Stars resource complements other free resources on topics including resilience, which are available to teachers for free through the League’s education program at www.plprimarystars.com.

These have been downloaded more than 50,000 times to date.

To further support young people in discussing mental wellbeing, the Premier League has teamed up with youth mental health ambassador, Dr Alex George, to offer all primary schools a virtual Live Author event on Friday 17 May (9.30am).

The event, run in conjunction with the National Literacy Trust, is suitable for pupils in Years 5 and 6 (Upper Key Stage 2). It will see Dr Alex discuss positive wellbeing tips from his mental health handbook, “A Better Day”. A free set of classroom resources for teachers, linked to the book, will be made available ahead of the talk.

Teachers can sign up for the session here. The Premier League will also give away a free copy of the Better Day title to the first 400 schools to register their interest in the session.

The League continues to support the mental wellbeing of those in communities through the Premier League Fans Fund and local needs projects alongside the Professional Footballers’ Association.

Activities range from mental wellbeing officer support in secondary schools in Burnley to bespoke men’s mental health sessions in Newcastle.

All 20 Premier League clubs have a dedicated team of Player Care staff to support mental and emotional wellbeing for those in Academies, up to the first team.

More than 100 mental and emotional wellbeing sessions have been delivered this season through the Academy Lifeskills and Personal Development programme.

Clubs also have a commitment to include mental health and wellbeing requirements as part of their work on the Premier League’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Standard.

For further mental health support, fans can head to: Get help | Mental Health Foundation

Premier League helps fans to kick off a conversation on mental health

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