As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, the Club’s charity, City in the Community (CITC), held a Mental Health Awareness Week Event. 

Held in the Commonwealth Suite at the Etihad Stadium, the ‘Mental Health & The Role of Sport’ conference brought together a range of experts and elite athletes to discuss the relationship between sport and mental health.

This three-hour event consisted of expert panels and keynote speakers, with the intent of provoking thought whilst also encouraging conversations around a widely stigmatised subject.

Featuring on the expert panel were sports personalities Jodie Cunningham, Nedum Onuoha, Ryan Brierley and Jennie Killilea who works at Manchester City.

This blended approach to mental health conversations also gave CITC a unique opportunity to showcase its own work within the space.

Community Mentoring Manager, Jason El-Kaleh said: “This event has brought together a range of experts and elite sports people to discuss the relationship between sport and mental health. 

“Events like today help us further highlight the importance of the work that CITC and other community partners are doing in the mental health space.”

CITC’s mental health programme, City Thrive, is split into two main areas: school workshops and one-to-one mentoring (Primary Care Network Mentoring) (PCN)).

The PCN mentoring programme, in partnership with the NHS, CAMHS RMCH, is for young people aged between eight and 18 that present with mild to moderate mental health needs. Young people are referred directly onto the programme in CITC by specialist practitioners, based within their local GP.

The PCN mentoring offer involves eight to 10 weeks of 1-2-1 mentoring, providing support and guidance to achieve a positive mental health outcome for each young person. 

One participant on the PCN programme said: “The mentoring sessions have been good because I have had someone to talk to and they have helped me with my health a lot. The sessions were really fun, and [my mentor] was really nice and helpful.”

City Thrive, which is also in partnership with the NHS, has been delivered by CITC since 2020 and was first launched as a response to the COVID 19 pandemic.

The programme aims to promote positive mental health for young people aged eight to 18.

Classroom based sessions harness the power of football to normalise stigmatised conversations around mental health subjects through a mixture of educational workshops and one-to-one mentoring.

A dedicated team developed a mental health curriculum, combining specially adapted football sessions and group workshops on mental health awareness to improve mental wellbeing.

If you have been impacted by any of the content in this post and wish to reach out, please contact your GP for further support, or email [email protected]

City in the Community empowers healthier lives with city youth through football.
To find out more, visit or follow the charity on social media @CITCmancity.