Every year more than 1 million children with emerging mental health needs do not get the support they need.
Embers the Dragon, an early years, digital emotional wellbeing programme, has been developed to address this.
Our recently completed clinical trial has shown great results, reducing clinical need in children and families by 97%.
We are now funded by NIHR to conduct a national trial exploring how the Embers world can further support parents and children. More information coming soon!
One in every six children is diagnosed with a mental illness.
Yet two thirds of children with low-level needs cannot access support.
£1.6 Billion is spent every year addressing emerging mental health needs in young children.
We created the world of Keiki Island, where Embers and his friends learn about their emotions
through their daily adventures. The programmes are hosted on a digital platform, was specific content designed to be used by children, parents, and teachers. This includes:
Broadcast standard animations - voiced by Jo Brand, Dame Penelope Wilton and Doc Brown
Printable Worksheets & Activities
Stickers & Games
We conducted a clinical feasibility trial with 50 school and over 100 families.
Before the programme 75% of families scored above clinical thresholds for concern around parental anxiety and child resilience.
This reduced to just 2% of families following using the programme.
The Embers programmes takes the science behind children’s emotional development and how we learn behaviours and uses it to create stories and content that help children learn positive skills for their wellbeing. The main two scientific principles that underpin our programmes are Social Learning Theory and Self Determination Theory.
Social Learning Theory suggests that young children learn by observing behaviours of those around them, giving those behaviours a try for themselves and then seeing how the important people in their lives react. We also call it Modelling behaviour. This theory suggests that behaviours are a way of communicating need and how we respond to behaviours teaches children different ways to get those all important needs met.
Self Determination Theory looks at children’s psychological development and wellness and the importance of Autonomy, Relatedness and Competence as the building blocks for good psychological health.
Self Determination Theory helps us think about how we can promote key skills for children to learn and develop to help them feel happy, healthy and supported.
Why it works
In order for young children to learn and remember great skills for their emotional health, everyone around them has to be working together – we call this a systemic approach. That is why the Embers program has resources for children, their teachers and their parents, as unless we are all using the same approach the science tells us programs are far less effective.
In our children’s animations we underpin our story lines with scenarios and learnings that come from the scientific theories above. We then use this science to create our teacher and parent videos explaining how you can use some of our resources at home and at school to reinforce that learning. This means your children are more likely to repeat what they have learnt and their emotional skills improve and grow!
How the programme works?
Meet the team
Embers the Dragon has been designed and produced by a collaboration of clinical, education and creative experts, all specialists in child development. These organisations have come together to pool their experience and resources to develop what they hope will be a truly ground-breaking programme.
Digital Mentality specialise in the development of clinical content for digital platforms. Led by a specialist mentalh health nurse consultant, they work across all areas of digital therapeutics, from advising production companies, print media and film, through to clinical safety consultation and content development for health apps.
Red Balloon Family Foundation
Red Balloon Foundation are a charity specialising in family wellbeing who have experience proucing interactive theatre workshops for schools around mental health, co-designed with children, young people and families. All of RBF’s work is developed on the basis of collaboration with partners and end users and they will ensure our product is always driven by users and what they want for their family’s health.
Brickwall are a creative content and production agency specialising in working within education and healthcare. They have a long history of creating health, educational and wellbeing campaigns in collaboration with the BBC, NHS, Public Health England and the NSPCC and are well placed to provide the experience and expertise to develop the program to the highest standard.
NIHR are the nation's largest funder of health and care research and provide the people, facilities, and technology that enable research to thrive. We have been funded through the NIHR i4i Connect program and the views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.
We are supported in our research by the London South Bank University Faculty of Applied Sciences and Health and Social Care. London South Bank's mission is to transform lives, communities, businesses and society and are a leading centre for research in London for nursing, midwifery, allied health professions, public health and social care
How to get involved!
For more information about the program please contact us using the form below.