Bernardo Silva visits City Thrive

To mark Children’s Mental Health Week from Monday, 6 February to Sunday, 12 February, Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva visited one of City in the Community’s City Thrive sessions.

The club’s charity have been delivering City Thrive, which is now in partnership with the NHS, since 2020 as a response to the COVID 19 pandemic.

The programme aims to harness the power of football to normalise stigmatised conversations around mental health subjects through a mixture of educational workshops and one-to-one mentoring.

Silva attended a session at the City Football Academy, where four City Thrive participants were learning all about coping skills and stigma.

Commenting on the session, Bernardo said: “I enjoyed it a lot. It is good work that they [CITC] are doing here, helping people with important issues.”

From September 2021 to August 2022, CITC delivered City Thrive sessions at 36 venues across Greater Manchester.

Jason El-Kaleh, Community Outreach Officer said: “Our City Thrive sessions have been taking place in educational settings and youth engagement venues across Greater Manchester for just over two years now and have had a considerable impact on the mental health and wellbeing of our participants.

“Sessions like today with Bernardo Silva help us to further tackle the stigma around mental health and wellbeing by highlighting the importance of stigmatized conversations to a wider audience.”

CITC’s City Thrive programme aims to promote positive mental health for young people aged 14-25.

A dedicated team has developed a mental health curriculum, combining specially adapted football sessions with one-to-one mentoring and group workshops on mental health awareness to improve mental wellbeing.

As part of Children's Mental Health Week, CITC also spoke to their Young Leaders to get an understanding of what the campaign means to them.

They discussed coping strategies they use and any tips and advice they would give to someone feeling disconnected.

The Place2Be focus for this year’s campaign is about connecting, with the theme being ‘Let’s Connect.’

The Young Leaders discussed their coping strategies such as exercising, reading books, baking, taking a bath, being in nature and spending time with friends and family.

Developing on from spending time with loved ones, the Young Leaders told us that meaningful connections can be people, pets or hobbies and can make them feel loved, wanted, safe, supported and motivated.

In addition, ahead of Children’s Mental Health Week, Manchester City Academy coach Jamie Carr completed his solo Atlantic row in aid of City Thrive.

To find out more about his challenge, and to donate, click here.

City in the Community moves with city youth to empower healthier lives through football.

To find out more, visit www.mancity.com/CITC or follow them on social media @CITCmancity.