The Fantastic FRED Experience is a school-based, live performance mental health resource for primary aged children delivered by a team of trained actors.
With half of all mental health problems being established by the age of 14, the younger we engage children to equip and build emotional resilience the more likely we are to prevent mental health challenges developing when they are older.
Fantastic FRED is a resource targeted at delivering preventative mental health education in schools for children in reception and Years 1 to 6.
It is specifically designed to inform, equip and build resilience with simple, memorable and practical ways that young children can look after their mental health.
The letters in FRED’s name represent the areas of educational focus:
FRED's origins and conceptual foundations include independent clinical review and approval, as well as wide-ranging and multi-stakeholder engagement with teachers, parents, education and health professionals, consultants and commissioners.
The resource can support broader NHS or Public Health priorities and is particularly well-suited for reaching children in areas where the need is greatest. Additionally, it facilitates the distribution of teaching materials and take-home resources, further reinforcing the messaging both at school and home.
The Fantastic FRED Experience is exclusively focussed on prevention to increase awareness of mental health amongst children at an early age, and to resource them with practical tools to proactively manage their emotional resilience as a part of everyday life.
Achieves Outcomes For:
"There are opportunities to promote good mental health and wellbeing and to build resilience throughout childhood and youth. It’s important to take these opportunities both for the health and wellbeing of children and young people, and for people’s health and wellbeing throughout their life."
- Public Health England
Reach & Impact
Originally commissioned by Kent NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups as part of the Kent Local Transformation plan for Children, Young People and Young Adult’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health, the Fantastic FRED Experience sought to address a lack of practical and readily available mental health resources for primary schools across the county.
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Evidence Base, Objectives
The Fantastic FRED Experience resource is based on Good Mental Health Matters's '5 Steps' to protect mental and emotional wellbeing. These were 'Eat Well', 'Sleep Well', 'Digital Devices', 'Exercise', 'Positivity'.
The 5 Steps were developed by clinicians including GP Mental Health Clinical Leads and Therapists in 2016. They reflect recent findings regarding mindfulness in schools and protective factors against risk that adolescents can use to build resilience.
These steps were adapted to ensure the product was age appropriate for a primary school audience, which resulted in the FRED acronym (Food, Rest, Exercise and Digital).
The Fantastic FRED Experience intends to contribute to the delivery of 3 key outcomes in support of the ambitions of Local Transformation Plans:
1. To build resilience amongst children and young people.
2. To reduce the number of children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition by age 14.
3. To prevent deterioration of mental health which may otherwise lead to requirement of specialist mental health services later in life.
The objective of the resource is to provide children, families, and schools with the tools needed to build
resilience and keep mentally, emotionally and physically healthy.
Number of schools engaged
Number of schools using resource including online elements
Numbers of CYP participants engaged
Numbers of parents/carers engaged
Feedback questionnaire completed by participating schools
Whole School Resources
The Fantastic FRED Experience provides a suite of supportive supplementary resources for schools use prior to and following the live event. The performances are supported by materials and classroom resources designed to provide a foundation for the core mental health messages to continue being delivered by teachers after the live experience has visited the school.
Classroom Activity Sheets
Teacher Lesson Plans
Family Engagement Resources
The Fantastic FRED Experience includes whole-family focussed resources designed to reinforce key messages at home, and to educate parents and guardians on the benefits of proactive, preventative mental health and emotional resilience. We work with each school to determine the most appropriate mechanism for delivery to parents and guardians, including signposting to local mental health support and provisions available.
"The actors enthralled the children who thought the experience was amazing."
"We were told by parents that their children went home and spoke about the show."
"My class remembered so many facts and the FRED acronym really stuck in their heads."
"The children are still talking about FRED and we will be following up with reminders in assembly and PSHE."