Tackling the Blues, an early intervention programme for 6-to-16-year olds launched by Edge Hill and Everton in the Community, supports a number of children and young people who are experiencing, or are at risk of, developing mental illness. The programme was launched in light of concern about mental health problems among children and young people, and uses mental health-themed sport, physical activity and education sessions to promote behaviours associated with positive mental health and wellbeing. The sessions, designed and delivered by students and staff across the Department of Sport and Physical Activity and Faculty of Education, have contributed to participants reporting improvements in mental wellbeing, their quantity and quality of social relationships and engagement in their academic study. The programme’s success was recognised in November 2016 by The Times Higher Education awards, receiving the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community award for, in the view of educational and health professionals, the positive contribution that it had made in this challenging area. Highlighted as a national case exemplar by The Times Higher Education awards, Tackling the Blues has also been featured on BBC Radio 5 Live for World Mental Health Day, and in February 2017 was featured on BBC Match of the Day 2 with Everton first team player Leighton Baines attending a Tackling the Blues session.

For further information on this exciting project, visit the University’s central webpages here.