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Children's Mental Health Week 2024: Stars offer advice on how young people can use their voice

29 January 2024
Event: BAFTA & Place2Be Mental Health Week Filming, Date: Thursday 7 December 2023, Venue: The Langham, 1C Portland Pl, London, U.K.BAFTA/Ellie Elliott
  • Stars Gwendoline Christie, Alex Scott, William Gao and Taz Skylar  sat down with BAFTA’s Young Presenters, aged between 13 and 18, to explore this year’s theme ‘My Voice Matters’
  • Place2Be's Children's Mental Health Week begins on Monday 5 February and will run until Sunday 11 February
  • BAFTA Young Presenters competition opens for applications today
  • Videos available to watch at, and high-res photography is available HERE

A new video series created by BAFTA ahead of Children’s Mental Health Week 2024 uncovers the importance of giving young people a voice. BAFTA Young Presenters Jeriah Kibusi and Precious Assah sit down with film, TV, and sports stars to reflect on this year’s theme ‘My Voice Matters’. 

The stars share mental health advice for children and young people and explore how listening, self-expression and togetherness contribute to positive wellbeing. The interviews are available on the Children’s Mental Health Week website and BAFTA’s YouTube channel:

  • Jeriah Kibusi in conversation with actress Gwendoline Christie on finding her voice through Game of Thrones and why empathy makes the world a better place (watch here)
  • Jeriah Kibusi in conversation with sports broadcaster and former footballer Alex Scott on self-expression through poetry and using her voice to raise the profile of women’s sport (watch here)
  • Precious Assah in conversation with musician and actor William Gao on creating safe environments for others to express themselves, the importance of actively listening, and weaving mental health into his music (watch here)
  • Precious Assah in conversation with screenwriter and actor Taz Skylar on what to do when you’re feeling low and learning to listen without offering solutions (watch here)

Recent NHS figures reveal 1 in 5 children now have a probable mental health condition, and many continue to have mental health challenges into adulthood. For almost 30 years, Place2Be has worked in schools providing day-to-day counselling support, group therapy, and staff training. 

Children's Mental Health Week, now in its 10th year, takes place from February 5-11. Place2Be is encouraging children and young people to share what matters to them, express themselves and celebrate each other. Research shows that empowering children and young people can positively impact their wellbeing, and that children who feel their voices are heard have higher levels of self-efficacy and self-esteem.

On the videos, Catherine Roche, CEO of Place2Be said: “Children’s Mental Health Week has truly been embraced by schools, families, children and young people across the UK since Place2Be launched it in 2015.  Listening, connection with others and finding your voice are such important aspects of good mental health.  As we look this year to empower young people to find their voice we’re delighted - once again - to have the support of BAFTA and their incredible Young Presenters. We hope these videos will inspire all children and young people to find their voice, open up about their thoughts, and feelings and connect with those around them.”   

In the interviews, stars reflect on how they make others feel heard and delve into different forms of self-expression.

Gwendoline Christie said: “Listening is so extraordinarily important. When I was younger, I learned to do a lot of talking, these days I like to do a lot of listening. I found that I am learning so much. And particularly times when I don’t want to listen - by just sitting down and being present with someone and taking onboard what they have to say…I just find by listening to different voices it enables me to really grow as a person.”

Taz Skylar spoke of using different art forms to express yourself: “Sometimes a way to be listened to is by putting that into art. Do the dangerous thing of putting something that is really true, and really means something to you onto something.”

William Gao reiterated the importance of openly speaking about mental health problems: “I have struggled with mental health and I think so many young people do. I think it’s not talked about enough for how many people encounter it.”

Reflecting on her childhood, Alex Scott spoke of using writing as a tool to speak up: “I wrote a lot of poems. And I would pass those on to the other people to read so they could understand how I was feeling.”

BAFTA is using the theme of ‘My Voice Matters’ to launch its annual competition for the next BAFTA Young Presenters. The competition opens today, to young people aged 10-18. Last year’s winners, Elsie and Precious, have participated in The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival last October, alongside a host of red carpet opportunities and presenting at BAFTA events throughout the year. For more details of how to enter visit BAFTA’s website here.

2024 marks the eighth year the Young Presenters competition has been running. It forms part of a wide-ranging programme for children and young people including the Young BAFTA Roadshow with Place2Be aimed at primary school students, and its Young Game Designers (YGD) initiative, open to 10-18-year-olds – offering skills, networks and nurturing creative confidence to pursue careers in the games industry.

For further information, please contact:

Place2Be Press Team
E: [email protected]
T:  07776211518

E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0) 20 7292 5863

About Place2Be

Place2Be is a leading 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 520 UK primary and secondary schools, supporting a school community of around 300,000 children and young people. 

About Children’s Mental Health Week

Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week aims to equip, empower and give a voice to children across the UK. Each year, Place2Be’s clinical experts develop free resources and activities to encourage schools, families and organisations to take part in the week and have important conversations about mental health. The week is kindly supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, The Beaverbrook Foundation and The Prudence Trust. 


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).