Youth embrace mental health awareness with Soccer in the Streets initiative

Lionel Messi and the Argentina team claimed a 2-0 victory over Canada on Thursday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as part of CONMEBOL Copa América 2024. 

His two goals, which clinched the match, took both being fit and mentally healthy. It is a lesson several youth players got a chance to learn about during the Soccer in the Streets Camp held at StationSoccer at the West End MARTA station. 

During a special "Create the Space" camp, youth coaches and players got a chance to be part of training aimed to equip young athletes and their coaches with the skills to understand, prevent, and deal with mental health issues both on and off the field. 

"Today is really special because not only do the kids get a great experience to build community, and explore those mental health topics at camp and play soccer, but more so, our community is gathering at the West End transit station, the West End MARTA station to watch Copa América," said Chelsea Wood, director of operations and programs, Soccer in the Streets. 

Image 1 of 10

Youth players gather at the West End MARTA station for a special training with the Soccer in the Streets Camp as part of the Copa América festivities on June 20, 2024.  (FOX 5)

The Create the Space initiative, co-designed by Common Goal and national nonprofit E-Motion, is being led by E-Motion and Soccer in the Streets. These sessions are part of a broader effort by FOX Sports and Fox Corporation to promote mental health awareness in soccer, aligning with their commitment to the Common Goal movement. This initiative underscores the importance of mental health in sports, encouraging conversations and creating supportive environments for youth athletes.