With up to 70% of mental health conditions arising in childhood we believe that it is essential that mental health education and support is delivered from the earliest stages of a child's development.

This new multi-programme platform is being developed to allow all children to have access to high quality resources in this area. With support from the National Institute of Health Research the programme is currently in the development stage, with the pilot due to kick off in September 2020. We are currently recruiting schools to be a part of this, so please explore our site for further information and contact us to get involved.


The science

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 does the programme work?

What does the school offer look like?

The Embers Platform has something for everyone, and brings together all the key players in children’s lives. Each of our programmes consists of three key areas: 

  1. The Animation Series  where children can join Embers and his friends as they go on many adventures that children face, from starting school to learning about emotions and building everyday confidence.

  2. The Teachers' Lounge – Here we have all the resource you will need to bring Embers to life in your classroom. Our resources are designed by teachers and mental health professionals to help you embed wellbeing into your lesson plans without all the complex lesson planning. All our resources have clear outcomes linked to EYFS and the national curriculum. We even have classroom display packs to being Embers into the heart of your room. 

  3. The Parent Portal – We all know how important it is for parents and schools to be working together to help children so we also have a parents portal where we cover the most common areas of children’s emotional development with tips and tricks that work alongside what you guys are doing at school. 

All of the Embers programmes can be used individually, in groups or with the whole classroom. The opportunities are endless. 

Teacher & Parent Resources

Embers and his friends feature in a number of key resources to support children to solidify their learning. Classroom packs include interactive display features and posters whilst classroom activities can be downloaded and embedded into a number of curriculum activities. 


Meanwhile parents can access videos and content designed especially with them in mind. We all know that children don’t come with an instruction manual and what works for some children doesn’t work for others so our clinical professionals have taken the best of current practice and advice and used it to make simple and effective tools for parents to try at home. 

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Sample resource. Click to enlarge


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

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.

Our Partners

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.


Manchester Metropolitan University have a driving ambition to to disscover and disseminate knowledge, with 85% of their research impact rated as ‘world-leading’. We are supported in our research by the Manchester Metropolitan University Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care


How to get involved!

The Embers the Dragon Program will be available to schools and their families from September 2020! For more information about the program, including costs and roll out options please contact us using the form below.