The power of the ordinary

10 October 2022

Evaluating BBC Children in Need’s A Million & Me programme

Juliet Snell

Half of adults who have a mental health difficulty had experienced symptoms by the age of 14. Many children struggle with their transitions to secondary school or are affected by exposure to risk factors such as poverty, disability, discrimination or trauma during their childhoods. But many of these problems are preventable.

A Million & Me was developed by BBC Children in Need to explore how ordinary, trusted relationships can help children who are beginning to struggle with their mental wellbeing.

A Million & Me funded projects large and small across the UK including text and phone support for children, the production of digital resources and training for trusted adults, and activities aimed at boosting children’s wellbeing.

The power of the ordinary finds that through A Million & Me, tens of thousands of children have seen an improvement in their mental wellbeing. This has been done by enhancing the ‘scaffolding’ around children – providing resources and capacity for the parents, trusted adults and the systems surrounding them – which then has the power to support children’s mental wellbeing and prevent mental ill health. The report finds that the everyday interactions between children and the adults they trust are vital to give children the best chance of having good mental health.

A Million & Me projects have showcased early intervention approaches, and provided intelligence for the wider children’s mental health and wellbeing system. However, the concern remains that this awareness is not translating into enough action to prevent mental ill health in children at scale. The report recommends further investment from governments and charitable funders in programmes to boost children’s mental health and prevent later problems.

Check out all the projects funded by A Million & Me:

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