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BBC launches toolkit to help navigate mental health challenges

Posted on: February 12, 2021 by Mariella Brown

A mental health resource site – supported by sports broadcaster Alex Scott – has been launched by the BBC in response to the impact on mental wellbeing felt by the public during the third coronavirus lockdown.

Headroom brings together the breadth of the corporation’s mental health programming and content from radio, online and television in one place, as the BBC pledges to further its commitment to bringing the conversation out into the open.

The launch comes as findings show loneliness has risen from 10 percent of UK adults in March to 25 percent in November and the proportion who say they are coping well with the stress of the pandemic has fallen steadily, from almost three quarters in April to 62 percent in November.

The toolkit will offer practical everyday tips, inspiring personal stories, activities and music mixes to boost your mood, escape and relax.

BBC Education, Radio 1 and local radio will also offer practical wellbeing advice for young people and parents. 

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, said: “At this time, we know many people are struggling. In particular, there are significant challenges for people around mental health. Headroom is a great resource for everyone bringing together a unique package of content to help in difficult times. Mental health is a topic that we should all be able to talk about.”

Alex Scott MBE, who is an advocate of talking openly about mental health, said: “This mental health ‘online hub’ is a project I am very passionate about and believe this is absolutely something we need right now.

“Whether it’s tips, stories, playlists, documentaries, films, projects, advice or education services, BBC Headroom is an online-support network to help us all navigate this challenging time and beyond,” the former Olympian added.

Headroom has been welcomed by mental health charities including Mental Health Foundation, Mind and YoungMinds.

A flavour of the content includes:

Radio 1: a lockdown wellbeing toolkit full of resources to help young people manage their mental health and avoid burnout amid difficult circumstances. Launching on BBC Sounds on Monday 22 February, the toolkit will include a brand new mini-series of Radio 1’s Life Hacks hosted by Katie Thistleton and Vick Hope.

Digital: Dr Julie Smith, clinical psychologist and online educator, will be doing a series of short videos for the BBC’s social media channels and Headroom site to respond to what mental health concerns people are talking about online. The first will focus on acknowledging just how tough many people are finding life right now and on what small changes people can make to help themselves.

BBC local radio: Make a Difference: Happy Heads is local BBC radio’s new campaign to highlight the impact of the pandemic on young people’s mental health. With NHS mental health services already under significant pressure, the campaign aims to help children, parents and carers by sharing people’s stories, promoting volunteering and providing contact information and links to charities and organisations who offer vitally important services during these tough times.

BBC Radio 4: Cariad Lloyd presents What We’ve Learnt About Grief, an investigation into what science can tell us about grief in order to better understand our emotions. In Club 18 to 30, journalist Marie Le Conte is looking at how a generation has been affected by the events of the last 15 years, what defines them and what adulthood means to them.

Explore Headroom here: https://bbc.co.uk/headroom