Mental Health Education through storytelling
Get ready to meet Melva Mapletree
Melva is a sweet-eating, eye-rolling, aspiring-mountain-climbing nearly-11-year-old, who has been struggling with anxiety, trauma and bereavement (or ‘worrits’ as she calls them).
Her worrits have been keeping her from doing exciting new things, and sometimes mean she can’t even leave her house. But pretty soon, she’ll embark on an adventure to find out what she’s really capable of, and learn that “brave” isn’t how you feel… it’s what you do!
Why people love Melva
Learning through Melva
The character of Melva provides children with a safe and non-exposing way to talk about their own mental wellbeing. By learning more about what Melva’s worrits are, and how those worrits affect her – both emotionally and physically – they are enabled to reflect on their own experiences, behaviour and feelings, as well as developing empathy for other people whose experiences are different to theirs.
By using child-friendly language to talk about complex subjects like catastrophising, panic responses and self-doubt, the Melva programme provides children and the adults around them with a shorthand and simple vocabulary to talk about this together. This language provides a foundation for initiating and holding conversations about mental wellbeing, and can be carried forward into day-to-day life, even after their participation in the Melva programme has ended.
Children are active and involved
Children taking part in the Melva programme are given a purpose and a role in the Melva stories – firstly as Mountain Rescue Volunteers, and then as Melva’s ‘Niggling Voice’. This provides them with a clear context for learning, and gives them the autonomy to make decisions together and actively participate in the programme.
A fun and engaging way to learn
To put it simply – Melva is a lot of fun! We know how important it is to find new ways to engage children in learning, especially when you’re addressing some potentially difficult topics. The Melva world is full of weird, wonderful and funny characters who we know your children will love, and the accompanying resources provide you with a range of activities and games to suit different learning styles and needs.
How you can use Melva
The Melva programme is simple to use and designed to offer a flexible delivery model, so you can decide how best to use this readymade resource with your children.
Go at your own pace, revisit activities and discussions, and use the learning from Melva to help inform your whole school approach to wellbeing.
The Melva programme has been developed in ongoing consultation with children, teachers and families since 2017, and is available for you to use in your own setting now.