Sport is a great way to mitigate the harms that adverse childhood experiences can cause as a young person develops and becomes and adult. It can also be a protective factor too and build resilience 1 At the Mental Health Foundation we have quite a few sport and mental health initiatives. One of these is ‘Head in the Game’.
We are working for two-years as a ‘Learning Partnership’ with Cardiff City Football Foundation (CCFF) to support them with their project evaluation, wellbeing implementation and trauma-informed practice.
The 'Head in the Game’ project builds on the years of experience CCFF already have, working with children and young people who are at risk of developing mental health problems or becoming involved in youth violence. It is a referral-only programme that provides mentoring for children and young people (ages 8-18) who are experiencing challenges with their wellbeing and require early intervention and support.
‘Head in the Game’ offers twelve 1:1 sessions with the aim of improving wellbeing through bespoke, young person-centred programmes. The programme also allows them to access activities that are of interest to them, contributing to positive progression and improvements suited to the child's unique circumstances. For example, (but not limited to) enrolling in education, employment, training, or community activities. Core topics covered through the 1:1 mentoring sessions will include coping strategies, healthy interpersonal relationships, communication skills and positive wellbeing awareness.