METTLE, The Harlequins Foundation’s flagship mental health programme, is designed to help young people gain the skills they need for building strong mental resilience to help them overcome times of adversity and improve their wellbeing, decision making and self-confidence.
For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to tell the inspiring story of one of our METTLE participants, who was able to use the skills they learned and the support they received from the programme to overcome a period of extreme adversity in their life.
Please note that names in this story have been changed to protect the identity of participants.
Losing someone close to you is always difficult, no matter at what stage in life it comes, but it can be especially difficult for young people. Rosie faced this challenge after her Dad passed away when she was just 14.
Despite this difficult situation, Rosie did the best she could to put on a brave face and continue to work hard at school as her GCSEs were fast approaching.
As time went on Rosie started to struggle, and her teachers became concerned for her wellbeing as a vulnerable young person.
It was at this time that The Harlequins Foundation had just started to pilot METTLE and after teachers spoke with Rosie and her mum Mary, a passionate Harlequins supporter, they decided that she could benefit from the programme after losing a loved one.
Although she found things difficult at first, Rosie started to really open up and benefit from the support she was given and started to develop the vital mental resilience skills needed to help here through such a difficult time.
Mary started to see a positive change in her daughter’s mood and attitude and could tell that Rosie was starting to turn a corner.
Mary said: “As a Harlequins fan, I know the power rugby can have to bring people together, which is why I was so keen for Rosie to become involved in the METTLE pilot.
“Her dad was a keen rugby player at school and supporter of Harlequins and London Broncos, and having learned from some great coaches at The Harlequins Foundation, she wanted to give her all to the programme and knew it was what her dad would have wanted.
“She came home one day and said that if rugby players can pick themselves up and keep going, then I can too.
“It was then that I knew how far she had come.”
Rosie finished the programme and went on to achieve 10 GCSE’s, a fantastic achievement considering the difficulties she faced during her time studying.
She then took up a job here at Harlequins and across the road at Twickenham working in the matchday hospitality teams and is now looking forward to heading off to university to study English and Linguistics.
Since Rosie took part in the pilot, METTLE has gone from strength to strength helping hundreds of young people to develop the tools they need to build the strong mental resilience they need to overcome adversity.
If you want to help the METTLE programme in supporting young people like Rosie to overcome adversity, then you can make a donation to The Harlequins Foundation below.