A special NHS mental health awareness roadshow was a big hit with children at Newington Community Primary in Ramsgate who were entranced by the Fantastic FRED Experience.
All year groups saw the high-energy fun informative performance that has a core theme of taking simple steps to help children look after their own ‘super-computer’ – their mind.
The letters in Fred’s name stand for: Food – eating the right foods; Rest – getting enough sleep; Exercise – being active; Digital Devices – managing time spent online and with computers.
Specifically designed to inform, equip and build resilience, the show features trained actors playing Fred and The Professor who deliver simple, memorable and practical advice that highlights the link between physical and mental health.
As well as watching the show, children each received a wrist band and a Don’t Forget Fred booklet to take home to remind them of the show.
Head Teacher Cliff Stokes said: “Fantastic FRED was a fabulous way to reinforce the information and messages that we deliver about the importance of wellbeing and good mental health as part of school life at Newington.
“It was a fun show with levels for varying age groups, and our girls and boys were enthusiastically engaged by the characters and their entertaining stories and demonstrations.
“Our overall aim is to provide our pupils with a toolkit of ideas that they can use throughout their lives to promote them to be happy and healthy – this NHS roadshow is an excellent addition to our ongoing care and nurture programme.”
The Fantastic FRED Experience team state: “Ensuring the young children of our nation have the mental health support and resilience tools they need is more critical now than ever before.
“The current COVID-19 pandemic, combined with enforced lockdowns and disruption to everyday life, has had a major impact on children’s mental health with many experiencing severe emotional challenges as a direct result.
“This is a mental health resource that’s all about prevention. With half of all mental health problems being established by the age of 14, the younger we engage children to equip and build emotional resilience the more likely we are to prevent mental health challenges developing when they are older.”
What is Fantastic Fred?
The Fantastic Fred Experience is part of the Good Mental Health Matters campaign, launched by NHS Kent in 2019, to help raise awareness of mental health among young people in Kent, and equip children at a very early age to improve their lifelong emotional resilience.
Its origins and conceptual foundations include independent clinical review and approval, as well as wide-ranging and multi-stakeholder engagement with teachers, parents, education and health professionals, consultants and commissioners.
The Fantastic FRED Experience is available to book for free to Kent primary schools via www.thefantasticfredexperience.com