Thirty-two “Friendship Benches”, one for each nation competing in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ are located at the 8 FIFA World Cup Stadiums
The “Friendship Benches” initiative is part of the Sport for Health partnership, led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) The goal is to demonstrate the importance of mental health and offer advice on ways to promote mental well-being, including through the importance of physical activity and sport.
The benches initiative is supported by FIFA, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), the Friendship Benches NGO and the WHO Universal Health Coverage Partnership. The benches project aligns with common goals and campaigns of each of partner organization, including the FIFA-WHO #REACHOUT campaign, the “Are You OK?” project of the MoPH, Qatar.
The groundbreaking Friendship Benches project was originally developed in Zimbabwe to provide sustainable community based psychological interventions that are evidence based, accessible and scalable.
In Qatar, the initiative also aims at promoting physical activity as one of the key outcomes of the Sport for Health project. To this end a special feature appearing on each bench are illustrations with advice describing easy and effective exercises that visitors can practice for their physical health.
When attending one of the 64 FIFA World Cup matches, take some time to visit the benches and reflect on the importance of mental health and well-being.