Man City stars De Bruyne and Bardsley help celebrate children’s mental health week

  • Kevin De Bruyne and Karen Bardsley appear at local schools to deliver sessions for Children’s Mental Health Week
  • Initiative is part of City in the Community’s mental health programme City Thrive

City in the Community celebrated children’s mental health week by delivering sessions to local schools from star players Kevin De Bruyne and Karen Bardsley.

De Bruyne spoke with pupils from Oasis Academy Oldham and Bardsley chatted with children from a local primary school where they both highlighted the importance to stay mentally positive through tough times.

De Bruyne said: “Be yourself, be whatever you think you are and if something is going on or you are not really acting the right way, I think your friends should be there for you, your family and then I think you will know in what state of mind you are in and that is more important than what other people are saying about you.”

Steve, a teacher from Oasis Academy said: “The programme on mental health City in the Community deliver in our school has been invaluable.

“It gives students a safe place to open up about things that concern them, things that are worrying them and to let them know that it is okay to not be okay. It’s made a huge, tangible difference.

The initiative forms part of City’s mental health programme City Thrive that was set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help provide support for thousands of young people across Manchester.

The programme blends football sessions with one-to-one mentoring and group workshops to educate students around mental health subjects whilst also equipping them with the tools to regulate their own mental wellbeing.

The charity was set up in October 2021 and is in partnership with the NHS.

Jason El-Kaleh, City in the Community’s mental health officer, said: “The past 18 months have been tough for everyone in our city.

“With this in mind, we want to acknowledge the impact that this period has had on everyone’s mental wellbeing and help to support people across the Greater Manchester area by challenging the stigma round mental health conversations.”

City Thrive sessions will continue throughout the school holidays to provide for children when they are at their most vulnerable.