Project summary

Tackling the Blues offers a range of interactive and engaging activities, to recruit children and young people who then participate in tailored educational and peer-led activities to tackle experiences of conditions associated with mental illness. The sessions cover topics associated with developing and maintaining positive mental wellbeing and pupils will follow sports and physical activity and a creative arts-based programme.

The physical activity sessions will allow the pupils to practice what they learn as well as increasing physical activity levels. The arts-based programme will allow pupils to explore mental health through collaborative, creative approaches. This will include the use of Tate’s national art collection as a resource for exploring themes around mental health. Taking this integrated approach of combining practical, hands on and classroom-based activities is intended to illicit positive behaviour change, increase self-esteem and confidence and ultimately improve physical and mental wellbeing.

The project has involved extensive consultation with young people and education workers who act as project collaborators, help recruit participants and deliver peer mentor workshops. Some of our student volunteers have shared their experiences about volunteering on the programme, and how the knowledge and skills they gained from doing so have allowed them to develop personally and professionally, and in some case helping them secure employment following their studies.

A Young Carer Project Worker said:

All our young carers have appeared to thoroughly enjoy the Tackling the Blues sessions. The sessions have been fun, creative and inclusive. The benefit of the Tackling the Blues sessions and team-building activities have given young carers the confidence to access wider opportunities in the community.