Emma Willis, Oti Mabuse and Kit Young go back to school for Children’s Mental Health Week


Emma Willis, Oti Mabuse, Kit Young, Lindsey Russell and Kia Pegg are among well-known faces who are lending their support to Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week (7-13 February 2022) through virtual school assemblies created in partnership with BAFTA Kids, and with the support of Oak National Academy.

Now in its eighth year, Children’s Mental Health Week will encourage children and adults to consider how they have grown, and how they can help others to flourish as we re-emerge from a pandemic which has left an estimated 1.5 million children and young people with new or additional mental health challenges*.

To be released on Monday 7 February at 8am, the assemblies, for primary and secondary schools will feature pupils from Place2Be partner schools along with on screen stars. The assemblies will also feature special messages of support from high profile surprise guests, to be revealed on the day.

Children and young people across the country are invited to join in with activities and discuss the theme at home and in class, to encourage conversation and reduce the stigma about mental health issues, which now affect 1 in 6 young people.

BAFTA Kids will also be using the assembly to launch its annual Young Presenter Competition, which aims to find exciting new on-screen talent aged between 10-18 years, encouraging young people’s self-esteem and confidence.

Place2Be has also released a series of short ‘Growth Story’ films in which celebrity mental health champions explore how they overcame difficulties in their lives and have grown as a result. Hosted by presenter and podcaster Josh Smith, the series includes conversations with Dr Alex George (UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador), Mandip Gill (Actor, known for Doctor Who and Hollyoaks), Jacob Anderson (Actor, Singer, and Songwriter, known for Game of Thrones), YolanDa Brown (Saxophonist, Composer and Broadcaster) and Andy Lewis MBE (one of Britain’s most successful para-triathletes).

Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be said: “It’s been another year of ups and downs, with many challenges for young people and schools alike. But we know that even during the most difficult times, we can all continue to grow, learn and support each other. There’s never been a more important time to focus on positive mental health and wellbeing – so we’re delighted that so many well-known faces have lent their support to this vital message. I encourage all schools across the UK to tune in to the assemblies during the Week.”

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA said: “We are thrilled to collaborate once again with Place2Be, raising awareness of Children’s Mental Health Week and promoting vital life skills. If young people have butterflies before an exam or are lost for words during a presentation, such experiences can be managed by acquiring confidence, which is so very important for them. This year’s theme is Growing Together – developing skills from within, whilst looking outwardly to the community for support. BAFTA is delighted to be involved and to be engaging via virtual assemblies for primary and secondary schools. A huge thank-you to all our special guests for sharing our belief in this initiative and so kindly taking part.”

During Children’s Mental Health Week, Place2Be is encouraging everyone across the UK to get involved through a series of activities, including: an interactive map of events across the country, a ‘Dress to Express’ day to encourage children to express their personality through colour and clothing, free school learning resources and a social media campaign on the theme of Growing Together. For more information please go to childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk