City in the Community (CITC) are delighted to announce a brand-new partnership with the NHS to expand its mental health programme for children and young adults in Greater Manchester.

CITC has teamed up with the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) to deliver enhanced mental wellbeing support for participants aged 14 to 25, by embedding ‘Manchester Thrive’ into its existing delivery or activity and programmes.

‘Manchester Thrive’ (MThrive) is an NHS led programme which aims to support young people and families to promote good mental health and allow quicker access to the best specialist support to meet their needs where appropriate. Emphasis is placed on early intervention, prevention and the promotion of mental health and wellbeing.

The new NHS partnership, which is being announced on the first day of National Mental Health Week, will now enable CITC to offer the required help for its participants. Coaches will be supported by CAMHS to identify need and offer direct access to the CAMHS system to ensure support is received at the earliest opportunity. 

The partnership includes: 

  • Direct work with CAMHS and young people who have identified mental health needs.
  • Consultation to CITC staff working with young people with mental health needs. 
  • A rolling programme of mental health awareness training for staff across CITC.
  • Support with the design, development and delivery of CITC’s emotional health and wellbeing curriculum.  

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service also hopes to place a full-time practitioner directly within the City in the Community team supported by the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity.  

City in the Community’s Senior Operations Officer, Lisa McKay, said: 

We are delighted to be working in partnership with the NHS and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.  
In Manchester, the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health was highlighted as a major concern amongst carers and parents.  
To help combat this, we launched a new programme earlier this year with a specific focus on harnessing the power of football to provide additional mental wellbeing awareness and support for our existing participants. 
This invaluable relationship with the NHS will enable us to build on our current curriculum and offer young people additional mental health support as soon as they need it.

Maria Slater, Director of CAMHS continues: 

CAMHS have been working with CITC over the past two years, supporting their training structure for their own staff and in the development of the new curriculum offer.   

CITC’s existing mental health programme, which launched in January 2021, has been funded by ‘Cityzens Giving for Recovery’; an initiative which aims to make a positive difference in response to the COVID-19 pandemic via targeted projects near each of City Football Group’s ten clubs. 

Known as City Thrive, the Manchester project embeds a mental health curriculum within all CITC programmes, reaching over 400 young people so far.   

Thanks to donations from City fans, which have been matched pound for pound by City Football Group, a dedicated team has developed a new mental health curriculum, blending specially adapted football sessions with one-to-one mentoring and group workshops on mental health awareness, to improve mental wellbeing. 

Additionally, specific mental health themed football sessions will be delivered from youth clubs across Manchester, enabling participants to enjoy physical activity whilst also accessing the benefits of one-to-one mentoring and group workshops. 

These sessions will continue throughout the school holidays, offering support and food provision at a time when young people are most vulnerable to suffering with their physical and mental health. 

This is a great partnership to enable CAMHS to reach a vulnerable population that traditionally are unable to engage with a mental health offer.  The pull of the City badge is far stronger than the NHS.

City Football Group is continuing to match donations by fans until 30 June 2021 to support recovery-linked projects in Manchester, Melbourne, Lommel, Chengdu, Mumbai, Yokohama, Girona, New York and Uruguay. 

Young Leaders Mental Health Awareness and Managing Wellbeing sessions have also been delivered across Sao Paolo, Mumbai, Kilifi, Kolkata, Hanoi and Mexico City, as well as Manchester. 

To help this new project continue for a second year, when many are still feeling the effects of COVID-19 on their mental wellbeing, we’ve launched a special Carabao Cup Final auction! Bids close at 5pm on the 20th May”

Over the course of National Mental Health Awareness week, CITC will be posting more content on our Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as on the Community News web pages, so keep an eye out for more articles, advice and support.