Blues Programme

The Blues Programme, funded by Royal Mail, helps young people with their mental health.


Over six weeks in schools, the Blues Programme gives students the support they need to understand how they’re feeling. It helps them to build resilience and reduces low mood, depression and anxiety. Really importantly, it gets teenagers talking.

75% of adults with lifelong mental health issues first experience symptoms before they turn 18. 

1 in 8 5 to 19-year-olds in England have a diagnosable mental health condition.

The Blues Programme is based on research. It’s internationally-acclaimed, using techniques that are proven to improve young people’s mental health and wellbeing. We’re really proud to be running the programme in schools all over the UK.

This vital programme has already been delivered in over 135 schools, supporting more than 4,500 young people to date. 76% of students have improved mental health and emotional wellbeing. 80% feel comfortable talking about their mental health. 98% would recommend Blues to one of their friends.


Blues busting

The six-week course involves weekly one-hour group sessions at school with home practice assignments. Weekly activity sessions build group rapport, cognitive restructuring techniques, followed by a range of coping strategies. 

Home practice assignments apply the skills learnt to daily life. It's simple and it works. 

Courses are run by a trained Action for Children 'Blues' specialist - we call them the 'blues busters'. Here's what's involved. 

  1. Eligible school, colleges or sixth forms sign up
  2. All students (13-19) complete the Blues survey
  3. Blues candidates are identified and sign up
  4. 6-week group course starts (1 hour/week)
  5. Results are evaluated and shared

"On average, every classroom in Britain has three children with a diagnosable mental health illness."

Blues handbook Cover_web

Good mental health and wellbeing is a big part of what we do. We’re here for every young person who needs support. We encourage young people to have positive conversations about how they’re feeling, and make sure they don’t feel alone.

The Blues Programme is being introduced at no cost. This is thanks to our partnership with Royal Mail, who will be providing £2million raised through the fundraising efforts of Royal Mail employees across the UK and its matched giving scheme.

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Helping young people


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With 75% of adult mental health problems starting before someone is 18, we work hard to make a positive impact

Mental health for young people
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