Sunderland AFC’s crucial League One clash with Doncaster Rovers has been dedicated to Foundation of Light to highlight the charity’s positive impact on local lives as well as supporting the ‘Give A Quid’ fundraising campaign to improve people’s mental health.
Spotting mental health issues within the family is vitally important, and the Foundation’s Family Learning Mental Health and Wellbeing course brings families together, helps them gain awareness and improve both adults’ and children’s mental health.
Lorna joined the 10-week programme at St Aloysius RC Infant School in Hebburn with her 9-year-old son to better understand her children’s development and identify potential concerns.
“I must admit after receiving the letter from school I wasn’t sure what to expect or appreciate the benefit of undergoing the course,” Lorna says. “The course environment was very relaxed and very much built on trust which enabled me to talk openly about my own mental health journey and challenges I have faced.
“It was extremely positive step for me in terms of sharing my own experiences in a safe environment, something I hadn’t done previously.”
Throughout the programme, family members increase their knowledge of mental health: what it is; signs and symptoms; types of mental health problems; and provides mindsets and strategies to cope with mental health problems.
Lorna adds: “The course has given me a better understanding of childhood mental health issues and impacting factors linked to a child’s development.
The course provided me with the knowledge to identify potential concerns in my own children and I feel better equipped to have open conversations with my son regarding mental health.
“We have a toolkit available to support him in terms of coping strategies and practical activities we can complete together.
“I think you can sometimes forget that children are children and that they haven’t yet developed coping strategies to support themselves or in fact process certain emotion and situations.”
Family Learning involves a range of classroom-based and physical activities delivered by highly qualified tutors and coaches, using the power of football and the Sunderland AFC brand to inspire and support families.
At the end of the term, everyone who has taken part in the programme is invited to the Foundation of Light’s state of the art facility, the Beacon of Light, for a graduation event to celebrate their learning achievements.
Learners will also be given the opportunity to progress into a range of Foundation of Light programmes, depending on your goals, including our Back in the Game employability programme, Apprenticeships and Traineeships.
*Costs £1 plus your standard message rate.
Written By CHRIS FRYATT
19 April 2019