BBC Learning are offering educational videos to help teachers introduce the topic of mental health to primary school children. The five short films address different ways children might be able to deal with OCD and depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, being bullied and being a bully.
The collection of videos, titled When I Worry About Things, uses personal testimonies from children and powerful animation to portray how such experiences might feel.
The films were created to empower teachers to address these topics in the classroom in a safe way.
Documentary production company Mosaic Films was commissioned to animate the mental health series, with children’s voiceovers recorded in a studio with a clinical psychologist.
Touching on illness in the family, divorce, moving to a new school, anorexia, social isolation and family favouritism, the clips are targeted at children aged eight and above.
As well as language and animation that appeals to a young audience, the films feature clear positive outcomes such as the children receiving medical help, understanding their problems by speaking to a counsellor or receiving classroom support from a teacher.
Andrew Tomlinson, Executive Producer on BBC Teach, says: “This collection has been created with guidance from clinical psychologists and is designed to support teachers in introducing a potentially challenging subject.
“The idea with this series was to offer a solution by starting the discussion on behalf of the audience, therefore lifting the stigma surrounding them and acting as a tent-pole around which issues and solutions could be discussed easily and openly, whilst enabling young people to recognise mental health issues.”
The collection is accessible via the BBC Teach website, a central hub launched in 2016 for streaming short-form teacher-facing content, from classroom films and Live Lessons to education campaigns and School Radio.
Teachers can now access thousands of hours of free online learning materials, navigating through content by school subject or year group. Alongside most videos are suggestions for different ways they can be used by teachers in the classroom, including possible discussion topics.
The platform currently houses over 120 new educational clips for pupils of all ages, with a further 40 to be added by the end of the year.