Cityzens Giving Young Leaders mark World Mental Health Day

More than 250 Cityzens Giving Young Leaders from 30 cities around the world have taken part in our first Digital Forum of the season supported by Official Technology Partner Cisco.

To mark World Mental Health Day – celebrated on October 10 each year – Young Leaders from around the world joined together with Manchester City coaches via Webex by Cisco to discuss mental wellbeing, teamwork, confidence, self-esteem and resilience through football.

The quarterly Forums provide a regular opportunity for Young Leaders to connect with each other to share learning and innovation on using the power of football to uplift the health and wellbeing of young people in their communities.

Over the course of last season, more than 1,000 Young Leaders were trained through the Digital Forums, reaching 64 cities across six continents.

Jason El-Kaleh, Community Outreach Officer for Mental Health at City in the Community (CITC), said: “It is brilliant to see so many Young Leaders around the world engaged in discussing how they can use football to support young people with their mental health and wellbeing.

"We hope the conversations had in these forums will continue to inspire them to develop as coaches and advocates for mental health in their local communities.

"Here in Manchester, we are using the principles taught in the forums across our delivery, particularly in our City Thrive programme which aims to educate young people around mental health subjects and equip them with the tools to deal with the everyday stresses of life.”

Delivered in five different languages, this month’s Forum featured a live 90-minute Young Leader discussion, coaching advice from City coaches, and an educational and aspirational task for projects to put their learnings into practice.

Christina Leong, Global Sports Marketing Manager at Cisco, added: “Today’s session was a wonderful way to recognize World Mental Health Day and kick off a new season of Digital Forums.

"We know what a positive impact football can have on mental health and wellbeing, and we are thrilled to use our technology to bring the Young Leaders together to discuss such an important topic. We look forward to continuing to support them as they take the learnings from today back to their communities.”

The remaining Forums of this season will look at other key pillars of the Cityzens Giving programme, with topics related to Physical Health and Safe Spaces.

The Digital Forums are a key part of Cityzens Giving’s digital learning network, which drives year-round connectivity across projects and Young Leaders globally.

Launched in July 2020, off the back of our first ever virtual Young Leaders Summit, the digital network has fostered connectivity and collaboration between projects, equipping Young Leaders with the skills, confidence and support systems they need to continue uplifting the health of city kids through football.