As the governing body of football in Kent, we recognise the power of our game to HELP understand and support young people. This includes those with poor mental health that are either unable or unwilling to seek support.
That’s why we’re delighted to launch the pilot stage of our Mental Health Champion’s network across our youth game with the ambition of having 50 qualified Mental Health Champions in place by May 2021.
One in ten young people are experiencing a mental health issue at any one time and shockingly, suicide is the leading cause of death for those aged 5-19. In addition to this, in an average group of 30 15-year-olds:
• Seven are likely to have been bullied
• Six may be self-harming
• One could have experienced the death of a parent
Supported by Kooth, Mental Health First Aid England and De La Mill Tutoring, we are committing to training individuals across our clubs and leagues to recognise signs of poor mental health, eradicate the barriers to seeking support, and carry out signposting to professional bodies.
Our Expression of Interest to become a Kent FA Mental Health Champion will be open from 3pm on Wednesday 21st October and close at 9pm on Sunday 8th November. Please click here to complete the Expression of Interest.
We are delighted to be able to fully fund 50 free Mental Health Champions to access the required training and support for free. However, once these free places have been assigned, subsequent places will be heavily subsidised but may incur a small cost. Places will be limited to 1 per club while we are in the pilot stage but we hope to expand this further. Welfare Officers are welcome to apply and become a Mental Health Champion alongside their existing role, but the programme is also open to anyone who has a passion around improving mental health.
To become a Kent FA Mental Health Champion, members of our team will be required to:
• Hold the FA Safeguarding Children or FA Welfare Officer Workshop qualification
• Attend our online training course with Mental Health First Aid England and De La Mill Tutoring to complete their Youth Mental Health Awareness course https://mhfaengland.org/organisations/youth/half-day/ (Wednesday 25th November 6:00pm-9:30pm)
• Attend our online training event with Kooth (Wednesday 9th December 6:30pm-7:30pm)
Expectations of a Kent FA Mental Health Champion include:
• Hosting at least one event per year within your club or league relating to mental health
• Upskill other adults within your club or league on recognising the signs of poor mental health and how to escalate any issues efficiently and effectively
• Signpost any young people that require support to our partners, Kooth, and report concerns in line with the FA Safeguarding reporting pathway
• Attending four short online meetings per year with the Kent FA Mental Health Champion team to receive either professional CPD or as a networking event
Kooth have been the UK’s leading provider to the NHS in effective online mental health support for the last 15 years. They offer free, online counselling support for young people, discussion boards, magazines and mini-activities to monitor and improve mental health. Our Mental Health Champions will work closely with Kooth through training and signposting.
The pilot stage of our Mental Health Champion programme is centred around providing support for our young people. However, subsequent stages of the programme include rolling support out to our adult players, club and league officials and match officials.
For more information on the Kent FA Mental Health Champion programme, or for enquires about becoming a Kent FA Mental Health Champion, please contact Luke.Baker@KentFA.com.
Click here to apply to become a Mental Health Champion