For several weeks, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation has hosted mental health workshops in a variety of different forms.  These options have given young people outlets to talk about mental health and show hoe things like sports, media and the arts can give a better idea on the subject. The foundation has most recently been pushing its Go Girl campaign, which educated young girls mental health through sports

On 22 February, four students from University Technical College in Salford, a school for teens ages 14-18 looking for a career in communications.  They attended the workshop “Going Sane” a creative project hosted by another young person as part of ‘Youth Leaders Programme’. Over the course of three hours, they learned about mental health through a variety of tasks and activities. By the end of it, the four came out with a much greater understanding of themselves and their ambitions.

The students, Paige, Madison, Lydia and Shea, each want to go into different areas of communications which range from directing to design to acting. Madison and Paige joined because knowing more about mental health would be beneficial for themselves and the people around them.

“You mix with different people from different backgrounds and it’s so unique,” Shea added.

A point the students made frequently was how unlike the workshop, people didn’t really talk about mental health that much, let along how to understand it. The workshop allowed participants to get involved which in turn, helps them better understand the subject.

“You can really open up when you go to these things” Paige said “You’re all there for the same reason so you can open up about how you feel.”

The learners also took part in BT Bootcamp which taught them valuable lessons that will come in handy when they enter the workplace. They learned how to write a CV, give a proper handshake and even dress appropriately for an interview. The UTC students even got a tour of BT’s headquarters, giving them an idea of the opportunities that are out there.

The students also volunteered during Tamesides Hackathon, which helped to develop their leadership skills in the workplace including confidence and communication. “I feel like it’s kind of given me a bit more confidence in how to do things in almost talking to people because I was quite confident person like I never knew the right things to say,” Madison said “So it kind of gave me the confidence to approach someone and say what I want to say.”