BBC Launches Children’s Mental Health Initiative


BBC Education has created the new initiative BBC Moodboosters to encourage primary school-aged children in the U.K. to move their bodies and learn about mental health and well-being.

The new Moodboosters website provides teachers and parents with interactive activities to make physical movement enjoyable and give children a sense of well-being. Children’s mental health charity stormbreak and subject specialists helped in the creation of the materials.

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

The Moodboosters initiative is backed 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 serving as the initiative’s ambassador. Many of these people will be fronting activity videos.

“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,” Singh said. “I see this every day as a pediatrician 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.”

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.”

To celebrate the Moodboosters launch, children from the around the U.K. have been invited to a big activity on November 18, BBC Children in Need Appeal Day. Led by broadcaster Gethin Jones and with The Body Coach Joe Wicks as a special guest, the event will be live-streamed into classrooms.

“Supporting children and young people with their mental well-being is vital to their overall development,” Jones said. “Moodboosters gives young people the opportunity to take part in a range of online activities at school with their peers where they can enjoy moving their bodies to have fun and feel more positive. I can’t wait to see primary schools across the U.K. come together for a fun afternoon of live Moodboosters. See you there!”

Wicks added, “Getting our bodies moving is key to positive mental well-being, 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.”

“It’s never too early to start looking after your mental health and we wanted to help children understand and manage their feelings and emotions during difficult times,” commented Lisa Percy, executive editor of BBC Education. “We know that well-being can make a real difference to children’s ability to learn, so we’re proud to be offering 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. Across the U.K., there has been an increase in mental health issues and challenges facing young people, which is why the BBC Moodboosters initiative couldn’t be better timed. I hope that Primary schools across the country and the children that attend them will be happier and healthier through taking part”.

Paddy Sloan, director of BBC Children in Need’s A Million & Me program, added, “We are incredibly proud to be launching Moodboosters in partnership with BBC Education. BBC Children in Need has invested some £10 million over the past three years in supporting projects like stormbreak across the U.K., and there is clear learning emerging (The Power of the Ordinary, Centre for Mental Health, 2022) 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.”