All Premier League fixtures from 6 to 15 May will be dedicated to the "Inside Matters" campaign, which reinforces the League and clubs' commitment to supporting the mental wellbeing of players, fans and those in communities.
The campaign encourages supporters to keep up the conversation on mental health by talking and listening to others. This comes ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, which this year has the theme of anxiety.
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 to embed mental health within existing policies and practices and drive progress in this area.
As part of the Inside Matters campaign, the Premier League has collaborated with Shout, a free, confidential 24/7 text support service for anyone in the UK who is struggling to cope. The service was launched in 2019 and has since helped hundreds of thousands of people.
The Premier League and Shout have collaborated to offer support to Premier League fans in the UK. Anyone experiencing anxiety can text the word "TeamTalk" to 85258 to be connected with around-the-clock support from trained volunteers, supervised and supported in real time by an expert clinical team.
"We are proud to use this platform to build on the wide-ranging mental health initiatives run by the League and clubs, and use our role to support fans, players and communities"
“It is so important for people to look out for others and find time to check in regularly on the mental wellbeing of friends, loved ones and colleagues," Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said. "Through the Inside Matters campaign, we want people of all ages to feel they can discuss their mental health and understand that support is available.
“A simple conversation can have a positive impact on those who are struggling with their mental health and we are pleased to be working with Shout to provide a confidential text service for anybody who feels they need extra support.
“Football is our national sport and is followed by millions of people. We are proud to use this platform to build on the wide-ranging mental health initiatives run by the League and clubs, and use our role to support fans, players and communities.”
The Premier League introduced Inside Matters during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a range of content and tips on mental wellbeing from players and experts made available at the online Stay Well Hub.
New content is being produced in conjunction with clubs during the campaign period, demonstrating the ongoing commitment to supporting mental wellbeing.
The Premier League has teamed up with Shout to produce the Inside Matters Handbook, which will be made available online ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week to provide people with skills and advice for managing symptoms of anxiety.
This includes input from a number of well-known players and managers, as well as advice from Shout clinicians.
"I believe in normalising conversations to help tackle stigma and promote positive habits"
Tottenham Hotspur striker and England captain Harry Kane, who established his own Foundation in October 2022 with a long-term goal to help transform a generation’s thinking about mental health, features in the Premier League handbook.
"It's just as important to look after our mental health and wellbeing, as it is to care for our physical health," Kane said. "Although awareness has improved, we need to change the way our generation thinks about it. I believe in normalising conversations to help tackle stigma and promote positive habits.”
Recent advancements in the area of mental wellbeing include updating the Premier League’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Standard (PLEDIS) – which already covers clubs’ culture, policies and people – to include mental health and wellbeing requirements.
All 20 Premier League clubs have first team and Academy player care leads. More than 100 mental and emotional wellbeing sessions have been delivered this season as part of players’ life skills and personal development programmes.
The Premier League Charitable Fund, which supports 106 professional Club Community Organisations across the Premier League, EFL and National League, issued new guidance this season on how to focus positive wellbeing outcomes and support people with mental health concerns as part of its "Capability Code of Practice".
There are 37 Premier League and PFA-funded community projects delivered around the country by clubs which focus on mental and physical health and wellbeing that support local need.
Through the Premier League Primary Stars schools programme – which is delivered in more than 18,700 primary schools across England and Wales – there are eight free resource packs for teachers to download on wellbeing topics including self-esteem and emotions.
There have been more than 42,000 downloads of the free resilience and wellbeing schools resources to date.