BBC supports primary pupils’ mental health

On Friday 18 November, to celebrate the ‘Moodboosters’ launch on BBC Children in Need Appeal Day, children from around the UK are invited to a big mood-boosting activity at noon.   

Led by broadcaster Gethin Jones, and with The Body Coach Joe Wicks joining as a special guest, the event will be live streamed into classrooms so school pupils can boost their moods whilst doing something incredible for BBC Children in Need. 

BBC Education has created a new initiative called ‘BBC Moodboosters’, which is designed to get the UK’s primary school-aged children physically active and learning about their mental health and wellbeing. 

The new Moodboosters website will provide primary school teachers, parents and children with short, simple and fun videos, featuring some famous faces, to support the PSHE curriculum for pupils aged 5-11. 

BBC Education will also soon make available a range of activities and videos designed specifically for use at home to get children and grown-ups moving together in their living rooms.  

These resources will be available on the Moodboosters website in upcoming weeks. 

A range of other celebrities have partnered up with the BBC for this initiative, including: 

  • Amy Dowden 
  • Oti Mabuse 
  • Ade Adepitan MBE 
  • Dr Ranj Singh 
  •  George Webster 

According to data by the National Health Service (NHS), the mental health of children and young people in England has worsened since 2017 as a result of the pandemic. 

The NHS Digital data showed that in 2020, one in six (16.0%) children aged 5 to 16 years were identified as having a probable mental disorder, increasing from one in nine (10.8%) in 2017.  The increase was evident in both boys and girls. 

Further research from the Centre for Mental Health showed that in England, 1.5 million children and young people under 18 may need new or additional support for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders and other mental health difficulties in the coming months and years following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

A House of Commons Committee report published in November 2021 concluded that the mental health of children and young people had worsened in the pandemic, and that it is placing an additional strain on already stretched children and young people’s mental health services. 

The BBC has said that the Moodboosters activities have been devised with the help of children’s mental health charity Stormbreak and subject specialists to make physical movement fun, enjoyable and give a sense of wellbeing. 

Many of the celebrities lending their support will be hosting activity videos available on the Moodboosters website. 

Dr Ranj Singh is the ambassador of the initiative. 

He said: “It’s been difficult for children and young people over the last couple of years and sadly a significant number are struggling with their mental health.  

“I see this every day as a paediatrician on the front line and that’s why initiatives like Moodboosters are essential because they help address some of those issues. 

“Not only are they fun, they give children practical tools that they can use by themselves, with their teachers, friends or families to help them better cope with the world around them.” 

Amy Dowden said: “I am so excited about the Moodboosters initiative and I really wanted to be involved and provide my support.  

“It’s something that absolutely everyone can get involved in and benefit from, not just children, but adults too.” 

Joe Wicks MBE, said: “Getting our bodies moving is key to positive mental wellbeing and I’m thrilled to be taking part in Moodboosters this year.  

“It’s so important to exercise and take part in activities that will not only benefit you physically, but will make you feel good and help you be the best you can be.  

“Hopefully the Moodboosters initiative will help children and young people feel empowered to increase their positive mental wellbeing through fun and simple activities that can be done in classrooms or at home.  

“I look forward to primary schools across the nation tuning in to the live moment.” 

Paddy Sloan, director of BBC Children in Need’s A Million & Me programme, commented: “We are incredibly proud to be launching Moodboosters in partnership with BBC Education.  

“BBC Children Need has invested some £10m over the past three years in supporting projects like stormbreak across the UK and there is clear learning emerging that children who are beginning to struggle with their mental health respond positively to supportive trusted relationships through friends, family and in their local community.  

“In school, sharing fun and movements designed to create confidence, there is an opportunity to help children to feel good and be better able to manage their feelings.” 

The curriculum linked videos and resources are available on the Moodboosters website here

The live Moodboosters stream will be accessible on at noon on Friday 18 November. 

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