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Media info: National mental health festival provides free resources for schools

Please see press release below relating to the upcoming national mental health festival for schools and colleges, Now and Beyond. The Festival takes place in February, but schools and parents/carers are urged to sign up as soon as possible.

We have several interviewees available and topics include being safe online, stigma, anti-racism, mental health first aid and eating disorders. Full details below.

Do let me know if you’d like to request interviews or high res versions of the images supplied.

Best wishes, Lucy (07771 967032)
Press release

National mental health festival provides free resources for schools to help boost children's wellbeing

Schools and colleges are invited to access a wide range of free mental health learning resources and events as the national mental health festival,Now and Beyond, returns for its 3rdyear.

The festival programme will include a wide range of online workshops, downloadable lesson plans and a celebrity live-stream. It takes place on8 February 2023 -but schools are encouraged to sign up early as spaces are limited for workshops.

Now and Beyond, founded by Beyond CEO Louisa Rose, is a response to the systemic failings of CAMHS in the UK - a service in which 26% of all referrals are rejected while those who are accepted are placed on inordinately long waiting lists.

While NHS services are grossly oversubscribed, the charity Young Minds recently reported thatsuicide rates amongst 15-19 year olds are the highest they've been in 30 years, and Samaritans reports that around200 young people die by suicide every year in the UK.

Louisa Rose, CEO of mental health charity Beyond and Founder of the Now and Beyond Festivalsaid: "The devastating increase in suicide rates is evidence that children and young people's mental health services are needed now more than ever. However, we are still fighting the harmful narrative that young people's mental health is being medicalised when it should be considered a normal response to life.

"This narrative is incredibly dangerous as it will deter children from speaking up and discourage teachers and parents from seeking the appropriate help.

"If children and young people have access to the right services at the earliest possible opportunity, lives will be saved.

"While we are unable to directly increase the provision of services through Beyond, what we can do is share learnings, expertise and toolkits to broad audiences to empower teachers, parents, carers, children and young people to better understand and navigate mental health issues, learn about self-care and know when and how to take action."

The festival programme

Featuring a range of expert-led sessions, webinars and workshop resources,Now and Beyondis completely free to access, and the programme has something for teachers, parents/carers, children and young people alike.

Highlights include a live stream of programmes featuring celebrity guests including TV presenterEmma Willis; rapper and mental health activist,Shockaand TV'sDr Ranj. The broadcast programme will be hosted by BAFTA award-winning producer,Sallyann Keizer.

There will also be an interview with theAnna Freud Centre for Children and Familieswhich will include in-depth responses to burning questions submitted by educators in advance of the day. For parents and carers, a webinar will address the increasing accountability and responsibility we need to see from Big Tech to protect the minds of young people, and explore how parents and carers can help their kids to enjoy healthy relationships with tech and social media. This powerful session will be hosted byIan Russell, father of the late Molly Russellwho tragically died by suicide almost five years ago after accessing thousands of online images promoting self-harm.

A wide range of workshops will also be available, as well as personal stories from young people with lived experience, and lesson plans for 4-18 year olds, covering everything from mental health first aid to mindfulness, eating disorders, anti-racism, mental health stigma, screen time and creative mood-based activities such as ‘What Colour is Your Dragon?'

Louisa added: "In addition to supporting our children and young people's mental health, we are also keen that our work supports teachers' mental health, as they so often have to take on increased wellbeing and pastoral care due to the lack of services available. We don't have all the answers and, clearly, we can't singlehandedly solve the problem, but we hope that in uniting a community that already exists and closing the gap for educators we can start to at least ease the pressure a little."

To find out more or to register your school


For further media information, interviews and imagery, please contact Lucy Nichol

Notes to Editors

Quotes, case studies and interviewees:

Louisa Rose, CEO, Beyond / Now and Beyond

Louisa is available for interview and is happy to talk about the festival and why it was launched, as well as sharing her extensive expertise in social media and mental health.


Beyond youth board member Ava, 11, is on a 4 year waiting list for an Autism assessment. With a narrative that prioritises academic achievements, these young people are still expected to attend school with no interim mental health support. 

Ava's mother is available for comment and interview about the challenges of accessing support during moments of crisis for Ava.


Now and Beyond is co-produced by members of the Beyond Youth Board. Youth Board member Jeremy Lyons reflects on his experience of planning Now and Beyond 2023 so far: "Doing this work in schools is incredibly important to me as I see the impact every day as a peer mentor. Working on Now and Beyond has given me the opportunity to directly contribute to the festival as a lesson plan provider through ‘Masteri Mentors' - a programme created with my fellow youth board member and sister Louise that provides emotional and social development skills through a relatable, educational, and friendly approach to help students become their best selves".

About Now and Beyond

Each year, circa 1,500 educational settings take part and since its creation in February 2021, Now and Beyond has reached over one million young people, educators and parents/carers.

Senior Mental Health Lead, Educational Consultant and Mindfulness Teacher Alice Moore says: "Now and Beyond is an inspiring and dynamic festival that offers equal opportunity for all education providers to benefit from mental health expertise".

After the success of Now and Beyond, the team at Beyond founded the UK's first signposting platform that improves access and knowledge of local mental health and wellbeing providers from all sectors. Beyond enables emergency and interim access to these mental health provisions for UK schools whose students' mental health has been most impacted by the pandemic through their emergency fund.

In her submission to the Government's Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan, Children's Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza says of the Now and beyond directory: "It could help to improve the join up between local services and to reduce the complexity in navigating local provision for schools, parents, and children".

About youth mental health charity Beyond

Beyondis a youth mental health charity that exists to improve young people's mental health in the UK by enabling access to invaluable mental health interventions for young people in and out of formal education. Led by the well-known activist and founderJonny Benjamin MBEandCEO Louisa Rose, it is driven by an impassioned youth board who are determined to instil new attitudes and drive change so that young people can go ‘beyond just surviving'.

Beyond is home to the UK's only mental health festival for educational settings, Now and Beyond, reaching over one million young people, parents/carers and teachers through two annual festivals since February 2021.

They are also the founders of the UK's only national database of youth mental health and wellbeing experts. Cross sector, multidisciplinary and geo located, the Now and Beyond directory offers the kind of directory and signposting service that "could help to improve the join up between local services and to reduce the complexity in navigating local provision for schools, parents, and children", Dame Rachel de Souza, Children's Commissioner.

More information about Beyond, the youth board and/or their work can be found

Registered charity number: 1179964