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Beano and YoungMinds

We’ve partnered with Beano Studios (home of The Beano comic) to create fun, engaging content for under 12’s that can help support their mental health and wellbeing.

Meet Mandi

Our friends over at Beano Studios have created a brand new character, Mandi. Like many others her age, Mandi faces new challenges, like getting her first phone or sitting exams at school. You can follow her adventures at www.beano.com

Mandi starts secondary school


Tips on starting secondary school

If, like Mandi, you are worried about starting secondary school, here are some tips that may help you:

  • Remember that everyone is in the same boat. It's likely that other people are feeling nervous or worried too, so it's not just you.
  • If you are worried about bullies or being bullied, remember that there are loads of people there to support you. You can always talk to a teacher, a parent or another trusted adult.
  • If you are finding it difficult to do all your homework or keep up with the workload, talk to your teacher about it - they are there to help and support you!
  • If you are worried about not making friends, why not try joining a club? It can be a great way to meet people with similar interests.
  • If you get lost inside school or do not know where your next lesson is, ask a teacher and they can help you find where you're going. If you're late for a class because you couldn't find it, just explain this to your teacher.

Mandi and independence

Mandi and selfies


What to do if you're worried about how you look

Many people feel insecure about the way they look at some point in their lives. It's important to remember that there isn’t a single type of beauty - everyone sees it differently. And there simply isn’t a right or a wrong way to look. But if you're struggling, here are some things you can do.

  • Be kind to yourself and try not to compare yourself to the many images you see online and in magazines, which are often digitally changed to make them look ‘perfect’ – they don’t reflect how people look in real life.
  • Focus on the things you like about yourself, and the parts of your body that you like.
  • Spend time with people who make you feel positive about yourself. It might help you to write down the nice things people say to you, and not just about how you look. Remember, people value you for many reasons.
  • Think about what advice you would give a friend if they told you they were struggling with the way they look, and remember that advice whenever you start having negative thoughts.
  • Talk to someone you trust. It could be your parents or wider family members, like older cousins, aunts or uncles. Outside home, it could be a teacher, a neighbour, close family friend or someone from a club you attend.

Mandi sits her SATs


Read the full Mandi comic strip at Beano.com

If like Mandi, you're sitting your SATs soon, here are some tips to help you: 

  • Talk to your friends and family about how you are feeling about the SATs. It’s likely that other people are feeling a bit nervous too
  • If it helps, write a timetable for the week. Make sure you add some treats, like watching your favourite show, doing sport, or having your favourite meal/ snack
  • Talk to the people around you and tell them what you think would help you in that week, e.g. I might need more hugs or down time; I need to get to bed on time; I want you to walk me to school in the mornings
  • Concentrate on the tests one at a time. Do your best and however they go, try to let the last one go and then focus on the next one
  • Remember that the SATs don’t effect what school you will get into. They are important, but most teachers just want you to do your best
  •  Lots of schools make the SATs week really relaxed, having breakfast clubs, extra playtime, relaxation time, no other lessons, so it can even be fun. Find out what your school is doing
  • The SATs are good practice for taking tests. But you can do it in the comfort of your school which you know well and will help support you
  • Try to eat well, sleep well and take some exercise that week
  • Get your clothes and school bag ready each night, so in the morning you can stay calm
  • Celebrate when they are over!

Mandi and her first phone

Mandi-and-her-Mobile.jpg

If, like Mandi, you've recently got your first phone, here are some top tips: 

1. Someone hasn’t text me back. What do I do?

First of all, don’t worry! Try not to overthink things when you’re texting a friend. If they haven’t replied straight away, they might not have seen your text, they might be busy, or they might still be trying to find the perfect emojis to reply with!

2. I’m worried I might say the wrong thing

Take your time before you send a text. If you’re feeling an intense emotion like anger or sadness, wait until you can think things through before sending a message that can’t be taken back. Don’t worry if you’ve upset someone – you can always speak to them in person, or send another text to explain what you meant.

3. Is texting better than a face-to face-chat?

Sometimes it’s easier to chat about something you’re worried about over text or online. But if you would prefer to talk face to face, or spend some time with a friend, arrange to meet up with them. Texting shouldn’t replace spending time with your friends and family.

4. What should I do if someone is sending horrible messages to me?

Speak out. Remember if you are being bullied it isn’t your fault and you can always speak to someone about it. Talk to a trusted adult at home or at school, this could be a parent, older brother or sister, or a teacher.

5. I’ve just got a phone; is there anything I should know?

It’s great to have a phone, but remember to look after yourself like you would in any other situation. If you’re worried about anything you receive from another person – tell an adult you trust straight away. For more tips on mobile phone safety, have a look at the advice on the childline website.

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