Assessment of the delivery and implementation of the Football Association’s Heads Up mental health promotion campaign

Abstract

During the 2019–20 English football season the Football Association, Heads Together mental health charity, and Public Health England, launched the Heads Up campaign to raise fans’ awareness about mental health issues. This research examines the campaign’s delivery and implementation of well-being resources and messaging from a fan-perspective within a stadium and the shift into a media-mediated campaign during the pandemic. Our methods included ethnographic observation of the campaign in and around a football stadium, and analyses of the campaign’s promotional videos, matchday programmes, TV and radio coverage, and social media posts. Our findings reveal positive aspects of the campaign methods, which included the delivery of a football-­oriented and coherent set of accessible resources geared towards normalising mental health conversations. However, there were several missed opportunities in delivery linked to limited control over the deployment of ­campaign resources and a lack of future planning to build on the campaigns initial impact.

Description

open access article

Keywords

Mental health, Football Association, Health Promotion, Ethnography, Metaphor

Citation

Elsey, C., Southwood, J., Winter, P., Thomas, G., Litchfield, S.J., Ogweno, S. and Billington, L. (2024) Assessment of the delivery and implementation of the Football Association’s Heads Up mental health promotion campaign. Sport in Society,

Rights

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/uk/

Research Institute

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research