Supporting Children's Mental Health Week

Tuesday 07 February 2023 15:58

The theme for Children’s Mental Health Week this year is all about connections.

Here at Manchester United, we understand the importance of creating meaningful connections from a young age, as they empower us both on and off the pitch. Communicating our emotions in a healthy way is an important habit for our children to learn. 

Every year, United proudly supports Children’s Mental Health Week, as well as Mental Health Awareness Month in May. The club marks both occasions via numerous engagements with our Academy, the Foundation, and our men’s and women’s teams. 

This year, the theme for the week is ‘Let’s Connect’, and it’s important to teach children from a young age the importance of being able to communicate in a safe, healthy and confident manner. Healthy connections with our friends, family and community are vital for all of our wellbeing, so it’s essential to encourage children and young people in healthy, meaningful and rewarding ways. 

Making meaningful connections from a young age can empower us on and off the pitch.
Staff at the Manchester United Academy understand the importance of this all too well, having recently undertaken extra formal training on adolescent mental health. This training focused on supporting young people by creating healthy environments in which they can flourish not only as footballers but as people. 

Nick Cox, head of Academy, said: "Each of these groups is now even more aware of the importance of mental health and the proactive steps that they can take to promote positive mental wellbeing for all.

"We will, of course, continue our extensive work in this area throughout the year, maintaining the active measures we have in place to ensure our players and staff are encouraged to talk about mental health to lift further the stigma associated with it.”

Further adding to their already excellent work in our local community, the Manchester United Foundation has teamed up with the local charity Manchester Mind, to launch their latest programme, United Minds, across our partner high schools. Keep an eye out for more information on that initiative soon. 

Alongside that, the Foundation has a long-standing partnership with DK books, which saw the book and ball initiative launch in 2022, you can check out some of the activities and resources on mental health support from that here.

Our Foundation coaches are also trained to support young people in our community, and alongside Manchester Mind are able to prioritise mental health by educating, sharing information and directing them to the appropriate resources should they need to use them.

Keep an eye out for more information to come on United Minds.

Men's captain and ambassador for mental health campaigns, Harry Maguire said on Children’s Mental Health Week: “I have supported the Academy in my role as Mental Health Awareness Month ambassador, so I know the importance of this campaign.

"Connecting with people is so important, I’m fortunate to have great team-mates and we all support each other.” 


"I know the importance of this campaign. Connecting with people is so important, I’m fortunate to have great team-mates and we all support each other.”

Marc Skinner, head coach of the Manchester United Women, recognises the importance of this campaign all too well, saying: “Now more than ever, we all recognise the connection between our mental health and a balanced life. 

"Here at United, we all support each other in talking openly about our feelings and encourage everyone in the wider community to do the same, in order to help us all live happier within ourselves."

It’s important for us to openly talk about mental health, and it’s equally as important to help educate our children on how to express their feelings in a safe, positive and healthy way.

For further resources on support in relation to Children’s Mental Health Week, you can head over to the charity Place2be’s website for more information.