The WISH event, originating in Zimbabwe, has proved successful in all its past attempts. This time, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has taken the lead in rising for this noble social cause. Thirty-two custom benches are being set up across the host region for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The aim is to promote mental health and show how sports can facilitate the discussion. The initiative – Friendship Benches – is a part of the Sport for Health Partnership.
The WHO collectively led the campaign with the Ministry of Public Health of Qatar. Other organizations that have come out supporting the campaign are FIFA, the World Innovation Summit for Health, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the WHO Universal Health Coverage Partnership, and Friendship Benches NGO.
Benches under the initiative will be installed at prominent locations that are yet to be announced. However, nations have started revealing their respective Friendship Benches.
England’s bench was inaugurated by Sir Mo Farah, an English player of the athletic association who holds ten Olympic & World Championship gold medals as per the sports news. He was joined by Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani expressed pride in the global initiative to help shine some spotlight on mental health practically and innovatively.
The Friendship Benches project perfectly aligns with the campaigns that partners are running. For example, the #REACHOUT campaign by FIFA & WHO walks on a similar road, and so does Are Your OK, a campaign by Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health.
Another objective of running this campaign is to encourage people to undertake more physical activities. Every bench will, therefore, carry a piece of advice illustratively depicting the best way to exercise.
Friendship Bench has been announced ahead of the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which is set to start on November 20, 2022, with the first match being played between Qatar and Ecuador. Online FIFA betting sites have started onboarding new users with attractive offers. Eyes must still be on reviewing the numbers before placing any bet.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General for WHO, called the initiative a powerful vehicle for promoting mental health, adding that it was a call for making people aware of the necessity to identify and deal with poor mental health issues.