LFC Foundation and its partners are set to celebrate this year's Mental Health Awareness Week (May 10-16) with a host of activities for children, young people and families to enjoy.
The Reds' official charity, alongside its partners - including the NSPCC, Action For Children and others - will deliver a programme of mental health events and activities that promote positive mental health in local schools, community centres and parks to support youngsters and their families across the Liverpool City Region.
The theme for this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is nature and, building on this, LFC Foundation is encouraging local families to join in with their free, multi-sports outdoor sessions to enjoy exercise and fresh air and take advantage of the many health benefits that it provides.
GO PLAY! (previously known as Open Goals) is LFC Foundation's free parks and open spaces programme that aims to get children and families more active more often. It currently runs in 11 parks - soon to be 15 - across Liverpool, and LFC mascot Mighty Red will be making surprise appearances throughout May and the remainder of the year. Find a session in a park near you here.
LFC Foundation's On Target programme, which is delivered in partnership with Action For Children, supports and improves the mental health and wellbeing of young people in secondary schools across the Liverpool City Region. A total of 18 secondary school sessions will run throughout the week, supporting more than 200 children in four local secondary schools.
In addition to this, the Foundation's team will be delivering eight community workshops during Mental Health Awareness Week, nine primary school assemblies with Mighty Red, as well as gifting mental health resources and mindfulness boxes to local schools. These tailored mental health sessions will help to support more than 1,300 local participants.
There will also be a range of online content for families to access throughout the week on LFC Foundation's channels, including videos from the Foundation's mental health team and downloadable play cards with lots of fun ideas to get outside and get active.
NSPCC, LFC Foundation's newest partner, will deliver two sessions on recognising the signs of when someone may be struggling with their mental health, along with exploring coping techniques and strategies for those attending, including young players at LFC Foundation, staff and coaches at the Academy and Liverpool FC Women Academy.
NSPCC's website has a wealth of tips and advice to help parents with their own mental health and provide advice and support for conversations with children and young people about mental health. Resources are available at www.childline.org.uk. Childline is also available on the phone - 0800 1111. Action for Children's Parent Talk website www.parent-talk.org.uk also provides parents with access to advice and a range of practical activities that they can do with their child to support mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Matt Parish, chief executive at LFC Foundation, said: "We are proud to support Mental Health Awareness Week because the promotion of positive mental health is really important to us.
"We understand the benefits of early intervention with children and young people, and the importance of providing them with the right tools and support to enable them to look after their mental health now and in the future.
"As part of our commitment to the positive mental health of our participants, we have invested heavily in this area, including putting in place a new dedicated mental health team and partnering with some fantastic organisations such as NSPCC and Action for Children to provide specialist provision and resources to the children, young people and families we support."
Tess O'Callaghan, NSPCC senior corporate partnerships manager, added: "Every year, our Childline counsellors and NSPCC practitioners support tens of thousands of children from Merseyside and across the UK who are struggling with mental health issues, from anxiety to loneliness, and we know the pandemic is going to have a long-lasting effect on those problems.
"We're delighted to be able to work so closely with the LFC Foundation to reach even more children and young people across the Liverpool City Region this Mental Health Awareness Week and ensure they know they don't have to deal with their problems alone, and can talk to a trusted adult or a Childline counsellor whenever they need to."