Nominate your school to receive free mental wellness support and teacher training here.
Research conducted by children’s mental wellness game developer, Book of Beasties found that 86% of teachers and parents polled felt our Government was not doing enough to support them in addressing mental health with their children.
The survey went on to uncover that 78% agreed that children’s mental health had been neglected in the Government’s response to the lockdown and school closures.
One respondent said: “Children’s mental health has been neglected for decades and pretending that lockdown is anything other than an extension of this is naive. Lockdown is due to a public health emergency bought on by political mishandling of a pandemic.
“It’s necessary because of political choices but does not constitute the beginning of the neglect of children’s mental health in the UK.”
In response to these findings Book of Beasties has committed to providing up to 500 schools in London with free mental health support, to help children through the current crisis.
The London-based startup, creator of an award winning mental wellness card game is aiming to reach over 141,000 children by donating games and training worth over £30,000 to some of the city’s most underfunded areas.
This new incentive, which has been dubbed the 500 Smiles Crusade is part of the Playful Minds campaign, which is calling on the Government to increase funding for playful mental health provision for schools and parents, and will launch in time for children going back to school in March.
The social distancing measures and tier 4 restrictions have put children under immense amounts of pressure, which is taking its toll on their mental wellbeing. A Young Minds study found that 83% of young people had said the pandemic made their mental health worse.
With these restrictions continuing into the New Year and beyond, we are facing a mental health crisis that could last for years to come.
Book of Beasties has said it is focused on improving the wellbeing of children through the use of playful and creative learning to raise emotional literacy, teach empathy and encourage open conversation about mental health.
The survey also found that more than 95% of respondents agreed that children’s mental health would greatly benefit from the increased use of playful learning methods.
With one respondent saying: “Being able to learn in the way their brains are designed to absorb information (curiosity, experimentation, trial & error, flow, etc.) means that the learning will always be successful.
“Moving away from the standard teaching practices (teacher led, repetition, pass or fail, etc.) will empower all children to feel included & worthy of learning. Reframing learning as a life long, enjoyable activity rather than a chore can only be a good thing.”
Following the successful launch of a new platform to provide teachers and parents with easier access to digital mindfulness and mental wellness learning materials, Book of Beasties partnered with Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity to help support the hospital’s play team.
Phil Tottman, CEO and co-founder of Book of Beasties said: “Whilst our crusade is a drop in the ocean, we hope it will highlight the dire need for better mental health support in schools and put pressure on those who can make a difference to do so.
“We are a small company, but our primary focus is to improve the wellbeing of children nationwide, especially following such an adverse year. If that means giving away our resources for free so people can benefit from them then so be it. We couldn’t be more honoured to be helping in such a way."
You can nominate your school here if you think they should be one of the 500 to receive our support.