FIFA LAUNCHES MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGN: ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO SEEK MENTAL HELP
FIFA has launched a campaign called #ReachOut to raise awareness about mental health conditions, encouraging people to seek mental help when they need it and take action for better mental health. This campaign gain support of all the Football players, World Health Organisations (WHO), and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The campaign includes video awareness which includes legends, current players and special guests whom all support this campaign and share their real-life experiences. The campaign will be shared on FIFA channels with a multimedia toolkit provided to 211 FIFA members and media agencies to spread this campaign all around the world.
On launching the #ReachOut Campaign, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, said: “This campaign is very important in raising awareness about mental health conditions and encouraging conversations which could save lives. He added in FIFA’s Vision 2020-2023, we pledge our commitment to make football work for society.” (1)
Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi said, "Mental health and well-being are just as important as our physical health and safety. ASEAN is taking steps to advance cooperation with external partners on mental health, in order to provide the ASEAN Community with the necessary and appropriate mental health and psychosocial support services." (2)
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. Said “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is as important as ever to look after our mental and physical health,” and “WHO is delighted to support the #ReachOut campaign, spearheaded by FIFA to encourage people to talk about their mental health.” (3)
As per the data by The Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Professionnels (FIFPro) Depression affects more than 260 million people around the world while around half of the mental health conditions start from the age of 14. Death cause among young people between the ages of 15-29 is Suicide. Among active football players, Sleep disturbances are reported by 23%, 9% reported depression and the players suffer from anxiety are 7%. Among the retired players, these figures show an increment, 28% are struggling to sleep and 13% and 11% suffering from depression and anxiety respectively.
Apart from React Out campaign, many international collaborations were been signed to create awareness about mental health like In 2019 a collaboration of four years was signed between The World Health Organization (WHO) and FIFA to promote healthy lifestyles through football globally. In 2019 a four-year collaboration is signed between The World Health Organization (WHO) and FIFA to promote healthy lifestyles with the support of the most-watched game Football all around the world. A #BeActive campaign in April 2020 to encourage people to stay healthy at home during the lockdown and pandemic, and #SafeHome, a campaign launched in May 2020 to support those who are at risk from domestic violence. In addition to this FIFA collaborated with FIFPRO and signed a three-year joint agreement to provide health support to retired footballers.
COVID19 continues to affect our Mental Health and it’s high time to start focusing on mental health as we did for our physical health. Anxiety, Depression, Social isolation, Unemployment, Work from home, School Closure, Work From Home are some of the challenges that we encountered but due to lack of awareness either we ignored them or keep dragging for more severe issues. #ReachOut Campaign is one such initiative to make this situation a new normal where we can openly talk about mental health and well-being. The React Out itself means to talk to someone facing any mental health problems it could be anyone: Parents, Friends, siblings, Teachers, or any mental health professionals. Young people, most vulnerable are afraid to share their insecurities with anyone so it’s the responsibility of adults to talk to them and keep an eye on their behavior and moods. The React out campaign is for both the one suffering from any mental health issue and the ones nearby to him/her. National and International campaigns have a huge impact on the masses especially the ones who are the role models as Football is the most-watched sport so the influence of football players is more on common people. As the Behaviourism theory of modeling says we tend to copy our role or imitate our role models so this campaign will create a huge impact in our society especially the football fans and supporters.