A Million & Me
Find out more about how to take an active & positive role in supporting children's mental wellbeing
What is A Million & Me?
A Million & Me is an early action programme funded by BBC Children in Need which aims to support children aged 8-13 with their emotional wellbeing. Through encouraging children to talk about their feelings and supporting family, friends, carers and trusted adults to listen and have conversations with their children, the initiative aims to have a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of future generations.
How can Boots help?
At Boots, mental health is just as important to us as physical health and we are committed to supporting the mental wellbeing of families in our communities and changing perceptions of talking about mental health.
By having an active involvement in your child's mental wellbeing as a parent/carer, you could help prevent mental health issues later on in life. Read on for tips and advice for putting this into practice.
World Mental Health Day (10 October 2020)
This Saturday 10 October is World Mental Health Day and looking after our children’s mental wellbeing (as well as our own) has never been so important. Watch BBC’s Dr Radha share her top tips on how to look after your children’s mental wellbeing below.
Along with our customers, we have raised an astonishing £13.8m since the start of our partnership and its thanks to this we are able to help to fund mental wellbeing projects across the UK. Find out where your money is helping to change the lives of children and young people near you.
Talking to children about coronavirus (COVID-19)
Talking to kids about a global pandemic without scaring them isn’t easy. We have reached out to mental health experts, Shout, partners of BBC's Children in Need A Million & Me, to help give advice for parents/carers.
Be as clear as possible when talking to children about coronavirus (COVID-19). Use language appropriate to their age and stage of development to reassure them that they are safe right now. Explain that things feel different because adults are making changes to help everyone stay safe.
2) Be Active
A routine reduces stress during an uncertain time and it’s good to include a bit of physical activity every day. Design a routine that incorporates movement into your child’s day. Avoid play areas where germs are easily spread, but do structure safe, socially distanced outdoor time into the day. If you live in a flat with no outdoor space, consider supervised indoor play instead.
3) Take notice
Kids, much like adults, crave a sense of control during anxiety-provoking times. Give them a mission. Challenge them to notice if they touch their face and to wash their hands if they do. Ask them to remind you not to touch your face if they catch you slipping up. You could even make it a game with points and prizes.
4) Keep learning
Children learn best through structure and routine. It's perfectly okay for them to watch their favourite tv shows and films, but try to structure them into their day. Be mindful about screen-time content, too. A sing along, video call with a relative, or listening to a story read aloud all stimulate learning more than a movie, while still giving parents a break.
Giving to others supports mental wellbeing, so help them find someone who might be feeling lonely - perhaps a family member or classmate - and encourage them to connect in some way. That might be a video call, writing a letter or even drawing a picture to brighten up their home.
What is mental wellbeing?
Mental wellbeing is how we’re feeling and coping with the things we face every day. Just like physical health, sometimes it’s good and other times not so good. You could think of it as your mental fitness!
Children with good mental health are usually able to:
• Express themselves and talk about their worries
• Meet new people, make friends, and keep up relationships
• Join in and take part
• Feel happy and sad, and manage those feelings
• Cope with challenges
• Recover from anger or embarrassment
Your child’s feelings can change depending on what is happening in their lives. Mental health can be affected by friendships, online pressures and family or school worries.
Children who have poor mental health may show some of these signs:
• Constantly be negative about themselves
• Feel lonely, sad and withdrawn
• Find it hard to talk to their family or friends
• Get angry easily and find it hard to calm down
• No longer take part in things they usually enjoy
Supporting mental wellbeing
The 'five ways to wellbeing' are proven to build confidence and resilience in children and to help them cope with life’s challenges. They are the wellbeing equivalent to five fruit and vegetables a day.
• Be Active
• Take Notice
• Keep Learning
Download our five ways to wellbeing guide to print and keep on hand. Putting the 'five ways to wellbeing' into practice is easy and you may already be doing these without even knowing it!
Why not try our 14-day wellbeing challenge with your children to take positive steps to support their mental wellbeing. You can do the activities in any order and be sure to tick them off once completed. Download your free challenge poster today, and let the fun begin!
Other helpful resources:
For more information about A Million & Me
Shout is the UK's first free 24/7 direct messaging service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. To get help from a Crisis Volunteer today, TEXT CIN to 85258. (Shout is delivered in partnership with Crisis Text Line).
A free parents' helpline with trained advisors who can talk to you about any aspect of your child's mental health 0808 802 5544 Mon-Fri 9.30am to 4pm.
Parent Zone offers support to families on any parenting issue including online problems.
Talk to your GP who will be able to provide further advice and support.
© BBC 2007 Reg. charity England & Wales no. 802052 and Scotland no. SC039557
BBC Children in Need and Pudsey Bear are trade marks of the BBC and are used under licence
YoungMinds registered charity no. 1016968 in England and Wales and SC039700 in Scotland © YoungMinds Trust 2018. Reproduced by Boots UK Limited under licence