Helping youngsters to be strong

Police cadet leaders at the mental health training session held by Blackpool Boys and Girls Club
Police cadet leaders at the mental health training session held by Blackpool Boys and Girls Club
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Youth workers teamed up with police cadets in Blackpool as part of an initiative to combat poor mental health among young people in the resort.

Members of the Blackpool Boys and Girls Club held a training session with cadet leaders in a bid to improve their awareness about the need to build up resilience.

Dave Blacker, of the Boys and Girls Club, said: “We had eight cadet leaders there and they all felt they had learned something they didn’t know before.

“The aim of this event was to take a select group of young officers and empower them to spread the good news that there are many things that can be done to help combat poor mental health.

“By taking part, the intention was they would also gain a better understanding of the impact on individuals of poor mental health and what can be done to support them.

“And if they do go on to become police officers, this early intervention training is vital.”

Jen Fisher, cadet co-ordinator for Lancashire Police, said the session had been very successful.

She said: “We were taught how to recognise good wellbeing and how to change our thoughts to support others but more importantly to support ourselves.

“It was highly interactive and tailored to the peer group in hand.

“The cadets learned so much and felt really valued and it was their thoughts and processes that made the day, and I believe this training should be put throughout schools within the area.”

The event was held at the Boys and Girls Club base at Mereside Youth Centre.

Last year Blackpool’s Headstart programme received a £10m Lottery grant to extend its work in the resort to support young people aged 10 to 16 suffering with mental health issues.