BBC launches children’s mental health initiative

BBC Education has launched the new BBC Moodboosters initiative to encourage primary school aged children in the UK to move their bodies and learn about mental health and wellbeing.

The new Moodboosters website offers teachers and parents interactive activities to make physical activity enjoyable and to instill a sense of well-being in children. Children’s mental health charity Stormbreak and subject matter experts helped create the materials.

Additional activities and videos designed to get kids and adults moving in their living rooms together will be released in the coming weeks.

The Moodboosters initiative is supported by broadcaster Gethin Jones, Amy Dowden, Oti Mabuse, Ade Adepitan MBE, Joe Wicks MBE, Bethany Shriever MBE and George Webster, with NHS doctor and BAFTA award-winning presenter Dr. Ranj Singh acts as ambassador for the initiative. Many of these people will moderate activity videos.

“It’s been difficult for children and young people in recent years and unfortunately many are struggling with their mental health,” Singh said. “I see this every day as a frontline pediatrician and that’s why initiatives like mood boosters are so important because they help address some of these issues. Not only are they fun, but they also give children practical tools that they can use alone, with their teachers, friends or family to help them better cope with the world around them.”

Dowden said: “I am so excited about the Moodboosters initiative and I was keen to be there and offer my support. It’s something absolutely everyone can participate in and benefit from, not just kids but adults too.”

To celebrate the launch of Moodboosters, children from across the UK were invited to a big activity on November 18th, BBC Children in Need Appeal Day. Hosted by broadcaster Gethin Jones and featuring The Body Coach Joe Wicks as a special guest, the event will be streamed live into classrooms.

“Supporting children and young people in their mental well-being is critical to their overall development,” Jones said. “Moodboosters gives young people the opportunity to participate in a range of online activities at school with their peers where they have fun moving their bodies to have fun and feel more positive. Can’t wait to see primary schools across the UK for a fun afternoon of live mood boosters. See you there!”

Wicks added: “Getting our bodies moving is key to positive mental well-being and I’m really excited to be taking part in Moodboosters this year. It’s so important to get exercise and participate in activities that not only benefit you physically but also make you feel good and help you get the best out of yourself. Hopefully, the Moodboosters initiative will help children and young people feel empowered to increase their positive mental well-being through fun and easy activities that can be done in the classroom or at home. I look forward to elementary schools across the country watching the live moment.”

“It’s never too early to start taking care of your mental health and we wanted to help children understand and cope with their feelings and emotions during difficult times,” commented Lisa Percy, Editor-in-Chief of BBC Education. “We know that wellbeing can significantly enhance children’s ability to learn, so we’re proud to offer our resources to schools and homes across the country through our new BBC Moodboosters initiative.”

dr Martin Yelling, CEO of Stormbreak CEO, said: “The last few years have not been easy for children. There is a rise in mental health issues and challenges faced by young people across the UK, which is why the BBC Moodboosters initiative could not come at a better time. My hope is that elementary schools across the country and the children who attend them will be happier and healthier by participating.”

Paddy Sloan, Director of BBC Children in Need’s A Million & Me programme, added: “We are incredibly proud to launch Mood Boosters in partnership with BBC Education. BBC Children in Need has invested around £10m in support of projects like Stormbreak across the UK over the last three years and there is clear learning (The Power of the Ordinary, Center for Mental Health, 2022) that Children beginning to do People struggling with their mental health respond positively to supportive trusting relationships from friends, family, and in their local community. In school, by sharing fun and confident movements, there is a way to help children feel comfortable and better manage their emotions.”

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