Leading law firm joins forces with The Harlequins Foundation to tackle mental health

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Leading law firm Blake Morgan is supporting Harlequins and the Harlequins Foundation in its bid to raise awareness of young people’s mental health. 

Partners at the firm are backing the new mental resilience programme on World Mental Health Day (October 10), as part of a mental health campaign.

The campaign, METTLE, is being steered by the Harlequins Foundation, which was set up last year to tackle some of the key issues that face young people today, including depression and anxiety.

Harlequins, a business partner of Blake Morgan, became the first professional rugby union club to sign the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation, in June.

The METTLE mental resilience schools programme, supported by Blake Morgan, will be piloted from October with more than 160 pupils in four local primary schools (in London).

It draws on Harlequins’ experience, on and off the pitch, and is being delivered by trained coaches and supported by Harlequins players.

The campaign aims to develop the mental resilience of Year 6 (10 to 11 year old) pupils through a practical, fun and interactive eight-week programme.

Each module will be brought to life through interviews with the players, talking about their experience of dealing with pressure, stress and fulfilling their potential.

Mike Wilson, Managing Partner at Blake Morgan, said: “Our public sector legal team has strong relationships with healthcare and educational organisations so we are proud to support an initiative that will help tackle one of their biggest challenges – the increase in mental health issues among young people.

“Not only will this campaign help equip young people with coping mechanisms but it will also help raise the profile of mental health issues and address the stigma that stops many young people from seeking help."

Each of the eight modules teaches a key aspect of mental resilience - including Growth mindset, My strengths, Managing emotions, Positive connections, and Goal setting – which together will create a practical and meaningful ‘Resilience Tool-Box’ which young people can draw upon at times of challenge, change or difficulty.

The Harlequins Foundation hopes to roll the programme out in 2017 across primary and secondary schools and through other organisations that work with disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.

Malcolm Wall, Chair of Trustees for the Harlequins Foundation, said: “We know that playing sport has a positive impact on a person’s emotional wellbeing, so at its simplest we can encourage people to play rugby.

“Harlequins is a powerful brand which can help raise awareness and challenge stereotypes. Where this campaign differs is that we have also looked internally, in order to draw on our experience as a rugby team.

“The Club knows what it is like to deal with stressful situations as the team perform week after week under incredibly high pressure.  There is an opportunity to share this experience and expertise, and in doing so better equip young people to deal with the stressful times in their lives.”

Mental health is a growing problem with depression and anxiety among teenagers having increased by 70 per cent in the past 25 years.

Blake Morgan’s public sector team provides specialist advice to more than 100 education sector clients and provides a wide range of legal services for health and social care organisations.

To contact the team call 020 7405 2000 or e-mail info@blakemorgan.co.uk.

For more information on the programme click here.