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Children’s Mental Health Week 2023: Stars from across film, TV and radio share top tips for kids and teens

6 February 2023
Event: BAFTA & Place2Be Children's Mental Health Week FilmingDate: Tuesday 24 January 2023Venue: Run Run Shaw Theatre, BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London, U.K.-  BAFTA/Tim Hunter
  • Stars Dermot O’Leary, Clara Amfo, Kit Connor, Big  Zuu, Amita Suman and Dafne Keen sat down with BAFTA’s Young Presenters, aged between 12 and 17, to explore this year’s theme ‘Let’s Connect’
  • Place2Be's Children's Mental Health Week begins today and will run until Sunday 12 February
  • High-res photography is available here

In a new short film series created by BAFTA for Children’s Mental Health Week 2023, stars from across film, TV and radio reflect on the different ways they keep a healthy mind. BAFTA’s Young Presenters, aged between 12 and 17 sat down with creative talent to explore this year’s theme of ‘Let’s Connect’. Place2Be's website features the interviews listed below, which concluded with a friendly challenge and game of Connect4™:

  • Braydon Bent in conversation with presenter and broadcaster Dermot O’Leary and actress Dafne Keen on the value of pets and hobbies, specifically football, for positive mental health [view here and here].
  • Gracie Gosling in conversation with actor Kit Connor on the importance of queer representation and being creative yourself [view here].
  • Jeriah Kibusi in conversation with actress Amita Suman on struggles with friendships and the importance of connecting with your culture [view here].
  • Maryam Drammeh in conversation with broadcaster and BBC Radio 1 host Clara Amfo on her musical connection with Billie Eilish and the importance of music, dance and film [view here]
  • Samaira Iqbal in conversation with TV chef & presenter Big Zuu on friendships, cooking, music, comedy and the importance of having people with different views in your life [view here].

New data and insights from Place2Be show that nearly 78% of young people supported by the charity last year felt socially anxious, but with support, two thirds of those with severe difficulties saw an improvement in their mental health. The charity is encouraging children and adults to take part in the week by having a meaningful conversation with each other, and spending time together.

Place2Be CEO Catherine Roche said: “We launched Children’s Mental Health Week in 2015 to build awareness and understanding of children and young people’s mental health. After a tumultuous few years, the Week – and connections with others - have never been more needed. We’re delighted – once again – to have the support of BAFTA and their friends. We hope that these videos will show young people across the UK that everyone – even the people they see on TV or social media – struggles to connect sometimes, and that it’s okay to share those struggles.”

BAFTA’s Head of Children & Young People’s Programme Lisa Prime said: “Seeing how our Young Presenters connected with creative talent during these conversations really brought home the significance of the theme of Children’s Mental Health Week.  We hope these films help to spark all sorts of conversations in schools and at home.  It doesn’t matter whether they be fun, serious or difficult; it’s just important to talk.”

From navigating friendship issues to adjusting to fame, the stars shared insights into how they stay grounded throughout their careers.

Dermot O’Leary said: “I feel very connected to my wife, my family. I know my friends are there in the fun and the tough times but there are also things you need to work out for yourself and put into context. 

Big Zuu spoke about his friendships with Tubsey and Hyder, who feature in his show Big Zuu’s Big Eats: “I’m really close with my friends, we all have something different – we're like the Avengers. I connect a lot with my friends, I don’t have a lot of family here. Sometimes you feel like you’re going through something no one understands. That’s why it’s good to have different people to talk to and connect with.

“Even if someone has done me wrong, I always try to leave it on good terms”, he continued. “You have to deal with negative things head on. It’s trial and error though, sometimes it will go right and sometimes it doesn’t. I love music – all kinds- different ones for different moods.”

Clara Amfo spoke about how natural it is to have hard days amongst the fun: “I am greedy, I have so many connections! My friends and family are very close to me for sure. But it’s also so natural to experience those feelings of disconnection - everyone has a bad day and it’s ok not to be 100% happy all of the time."

As Children's Mental Health Week draws to a close, BAFTA will begin its search for its next Young Presenters. The competition opens on Monday, 13 February, to young people aged 10-18.  This year’s winners Maryam and Jeriah participated in The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival last October; a presenting stint on Sky Kids; alongside a host of red carpet opportunities and presenting at BAFTA events throughout the year including the BAFTA’s Children & Young People Awards. For more details of how to enter visit BAFTA’s website here.

BAFTA’s Young Presenters competition forms part of the arts charity’s year-round learning and new talent activity to support the creatives of tomorrow. BAFTA develops and elevates thousands of people each year to build their careers in film, games and television, through its long-standing and celebrated initiatives. From children and students to rising stars, levelling the playing field for all is at the heart of BAFTA’s mission.


Notes to Editors

  • For further information, or to arrange interviews, please contact: Abi Aldridge | [email protected] 

  • To find out more about this video series, visit, or the BAFTA Kids and Teens YouTube Channel.

  • Children’s Mental Health Week: Place2Be launched the first ever Children’s Mental Health Week in 2015 to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. This year's Children's Mental Health Week will take place on 6-12 February 2023, aiming to reach thousands of people with the theme of Let’s Connect. Find out more at

  • About Place2Be: Place2Be is a children's mental health charity providing school-based support and in-depth training programmes to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, teachers and school staff. The charity currently provides an embedded mental health service in over 500 UK primary and secondary schools, supporting a school community of around 243,000 children and young people.  Last year, over 67,000 teachers and other professionals accessed the Place2Be Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme. HRH The Princess of Wales became Patron of Place2Be in 2013, reflecting her personal interest in and commitment to improving the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children.

  • / Twitter @Place2Be / Facebook @place2becharity

  • About BAFTA: BAFTA – the British Academy of Film and Television Arts - is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For more, visit BAFTA is a registered charity (no. 216726).