You are here

Award-winning actor Olivia Colman revealed as a special guest, supporting Place2Be and BAFTA this Children’s Mental Health Week

5 February 2022

BAFTA launches its Young Presenter Competition alongside the week of activity with new changes for 2022

  • Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week is from 7-13 February 2022
  • Olivia addressed challenging Covid years on young people’s mental health and offered encouragement to primary and secondary school children across the UK
  •  BAFTA’s Young Presenter Competition shares theme of “Growing Together”

To kick start Children’s Mental Health Week activity, Place2Be and BAFTA have today revealed Olivia Colman as a special guest of support for their virtual primary and secondary school assemblies. With the theme of “Growing Together” Colman, alongside a host of stars including Emma Willis, Oti Mabuse, Lindsey Russell, Kit Young and Kia Pegg lent their support by talking to young people about well-being and emotional growth, as well as sharing personal experiences and advice.

During the assemblies, which will go live on Monday 7 February at 8am, Olivia, who is a parent herself said: “The past few years have been challenging for everyone, so it’s vital that we look after our own mental wellbeing but also find ways to support each other.  We’re always growing, we just may not realise it. The most difficult growth to recognise is emotional. For Children’s Mental Health Week 2022, we’re encouraging everyone to explore how they have grown together and to celebrate how even through difficult times, with the right support we can all continue to grow and flourish.

The theme of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is “Growing Together” – which encourages children and young people to reflect on how much they have grown and how they can help others to grow. The assemblies focus on this theme through some simple activities that pupils can try in class or at home. As 1 in 6 children in the UK now has a diagnosable mental health condition, the backing of stars helps to shine a spotlight on the importance of supporting young people’s mental health and to remove the stigma still often associated with discussing emotional challenges.

Oti Mabuse and Emma Willis took part in activities with the children and young people, encouraging discussions about emotional growth.

Oti Mabuse said: “When I struggle with day-to-day stuff or I feel a little bit overwhelmed, I know I can always talk to my mum. Sharing is important. I think sharing emotions, sharing how we feel – whether that’s good, bad, sad, up, down, happy or excited is important, we need to check in.

Emma Willis added: “What I’ve learnt to do is reframe all of my negative thoughts, and put a positive spin on them. So when I think failure, I change it to growth. Because even if we fail, we learn, we move on from that and growth will happen.”

Additionally, Kia Pegg, Kit Young, and Lindsey Russell offered their own reflections on how they have grown and adapted to difficult circumstances.

The celebrities were joined by students from Place2Be partner schools Seascape Primary in County Durham, Rosslyn Park Primary in Nottingham, Carrick Academy in South Ayrshire and Folkestone Academy in Kent. Place2Be works with over 400 primary and secondary schools across the UK, providing embedded mental health support for pupils, their families and school staff.

During the assemblies, the students discussed their own experiences around bullying and feeling isolated, and how they have adjusted to returning to school.

Emma Willis remarked: “To see people of your age… being open and honest and saying this is me, this is how I feel and asking for help… it’s so inspiring listening to all of you today.

BAFTA is calling for entries for its annual Young Presenter competition, now in its seventh year, which aims to find exciting new on-screen stars and help young people develop confidence and self-esteem. New for 2022, BAFTA is looking for two winners for the following age categories: 10-14 and 15-18.  Applicants will need to create a short video on this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week theme - Growing Together – and submit their entries by 26 April.

Previous winners have gone on to interview A-list stars at various BAFTA events, including Tom Hiddleston and BAFTA President HRH The Duke of Cambridge, as well as presenting on popular children’s television shows and at events around the world.

Place2Be CEO Catherine Roche said “Our children and young people have endured so much over the past two years, but also grown in so many ways – becoming resilient and experts at adapting to ever-changing circumstances. We hope everyone tunes in on Monday, and are hugely grateful to everyone who has lent their support to our assemblies.”

To find out more about the assemblies please go to 


Notes to Editors

In 2021, the virtual assembly launched by BAFTA and Place2Be during the Week was viewed over 315,000 times.

The virtual assemblies will be available from 8am Monday 7 February at

Primary version featuring Lindsey Russell and Oti Mabuse with pupils from Seascape Primary (County Durham) and Rosslyn Park Primary (Nottingham)
Secondary version featuring Emma Willis, Kia Pegg and Kit Young with pupils from Carrick Academy (South Ayrshire) and Folkestone Academy (Folkestone)

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 7-13 February 2022, aiming to reach thousands of people with the theme of Growing Together. Find out more at

BAFTA’s Young Presenter Competition: For more details of how to enter visit

For further information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Sarah Baldwin | [email protected]

Dingile Kasote | [email protected]

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 400 UK primary and secondary schools, supporting a school community of around 225,000 children and young people.

Last year, over 54,000 teachers and other professionals accessed the Place2Be Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme, and the charity’s resources to support schools and families were downloaded or viewed over 124,000 times.

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge 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



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).


About BAFTA Kids                          

BAFTA Kids is a programme of events and initiatives for families across the UK run by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, offering insight into creative excellence within film, television and games. The programme features behind-the-scenes roadshows, workshops and masterclasses with BAFTA-winning talent and competitions. Whereas BAFTA’s annual British Academy Children’s Awards recognise and celebrate excellence within these industries, BAFTA Kids is a trusted and accessible brand for families to explore and discover new, innovative and non-mainstream work, helping them deepen their appreciation of the films, television programmes and games they enjoy.