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Partnership impact: the Blues Programme

On average, every classroom in Britain has three children with a diagnosable mental health illness. The Blues Programme is an internationally acclaimed wellbeing programme, which aims to tackle the early signs of depression and low mood in young people aged 13-19 years old.

The programme is delivered in schools through group sessions run by trained Action for Children Blues specialists called “Blues Busters”. The Blues teaches students how to challenge negative thoughts and learn different coping strategies to support their mental health. Over six weeks, it teaches emotional resilience, and reduces low mood and anxious thoughts. Crucially, it gets teenagers talking about their mental health.

Piloted in October 2017 with funding from Royal Mail, since then, the programme has been delivered in 149 schools across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s supported 5,253 young people with their mental health and emotional wellbeing. The results have been astounding:

  • 79% of young people felt more confident to talk about mental health  
  • 81% of young people had increased in confidence  
  • 76% of young people reported a boost to their self-esteem  
  • 73% demonstrated improved relationships with friends and family  
  • 75% had increased involvement with learning at school
  • 98% of young people would recommend the Blues Programme to their peers. 

Whitchurch School student, Jake, wanted to thank colleagues for donating money to the Blues Programme, which helped young people, like him.

‘To experience something like the programme has changed our lives and changed how we think,’ said Jake.

None of this would have been possible without the outstanding efforts of our people and we are exceptionally proud of what has been achieved. 

Click here to watch a video about the impact our partnership has had.

14 May 2021