A still of Melva from the Melva Game

Mental Health Education through storytelling

Melva is a creative, web-based programme, which uses storytelling as an engagement tool to improve children’s knowledge and understanding of mental health and wellbeing and self-management techniques

Available to Primary Schools and Trusts everywhere NOW

Melva and Barnabus in the live Melva show
The character of Melva performing in the live show with snow falling around her

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

“It was very funny and made me understand more about anxiety”
Young Participant
“I learned that you should listen to people and don’t be scared to share your feelings and your Worrits”
Young Participant
“Melva was an ideal character that the children could relate to. The way she learnt to overcome her ‘worrits’ was really inspiring to the children, particularly those that have anxiety”
“The performance handled so many sensitive issues in a really clever, funny and engaging way”
“I learned how to stay calm in difficult situations”
Young Participant
“Melva is an inspirational story with much humour, a little sadness, and a message we can all relate to”
“I learned to share your worries and to care for others”
Young Participant
“They loved the play and continue to talk about it still”
A still of Melva and Barnabus from the Melva Game

Why 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.

  • Child-friendly Language

    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.

Children watching the Melva feature film in a classroom

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.