Monday 02 August 2021, 17:00

FIFA and ASEAN join for mental health campaign

  • FIFA joins with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to promote positive mental health

  • Past and present players from ASEAN countries share their top health tips

  • “None of us are superhuman. If things are getting too much, ask for support.”

FIFA and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have joined forces to launch #ReachOut, a campaign designed to promote healthy lifestyles to help combat the symptoms of mental health conditions, and to encourage people to seek help when they need it.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be more challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle, such as getting regular exercise, eating healthily, getting enough sleep and keeping in touch with friends and family. As the players from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam reinforce – all these good habits help to keep our minds healthy, as well as our bodies.

In launching the campaign, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “Looking after your mental health is as important as taking care of your physical health. A listening ear can make a huge difference to someone who may be struggling. FIFA is proud to launch this campaign, in partnership with ASEAN and supported by the World Health Organization, to encourage people to #ReachOut.”

Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi said, “Mental health and well-being are just as important as physical health and safety. Under the Chairmanship of Brunei Darussalam, 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.”

Beyond the ASEAN sports sector, mental health promotion has always been one of the strategic priorities of the ASEAN health sector, through regional advocacy, capacity building, or guidelines development for various settings, including emergencies. Strengthening mental health services is also a component of ASEAN’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health emergencies through the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is as important as ever to look after our mental and physical health,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “WHO is delighted to support the #ReachOut campaign, spearheaded by FIFA and the ASEAN sports sector, to encourage people to talk about their mental health and to provide practical advice for good mental health."