Today, ITV and STV launch a new initiative from the UK’s most recognised mental health campaign, Britain Get Talking. The broadcaster is encouraging every school in the country to set a different kind of homework ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10 as what is on our minds can be the hardest subject.

Designed in collaboration with a psychologist and the teaching community, the task encourages young people to have a proper chat with an adult they trust about the hardest subject. Building on moments when millions of households across the country sit down together to do homework, the task is created to make starting a conversation easier, and also to remind everyone that our daily lives present valuable opportunities to have a meaningful conversation.

This homework task comes at a time when we’ve never needed it more — a cost of living crisis, a pandemic and troubling world events have all had a negative impact on our children’s mental health like never before. In fact, mental health has declined in almost 40% of schoolchildren*.

To promote this message further, ITV has created a rousing ad, running across ITV and ITVX. The short film features a cast of children from across Britain, sending a powerful rallying cry to the adults in their lives: encouraging them to “do their homework and get talking.”

The new initiative launches with the ambition to reach every British school and create an important national conversation — and in doing so, help children across Britain share what’s on their minds through this unique homework exercise. ITV is working directly with schools and charity partners — Mind, YoungMinds and the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) — on the roll-out.

Ant and Dec continue to front ITV’s Britain Get Talking campaign, following on from the initial launch in 2019. The iconic duo feature in a fun and interactive assembly film which teachers are able to use to help explain the homework to their pupils and parents or carers. Then the homework task, developed in partnership with a children’s clinical psychologist, will act as a prompt to help children to open up.

ITV will also have a special hour of Britain Get Talking programming on World Mental Health Day, introduced by Ant and Dec, including a Martin Lewis Money Show Live special as well as a Tonight exclusive with Susanna Reid who investigates children’s mental health and the importance of us talking together as a family.

Talking is often the first step in helping ease stress and reduce anxiety. According to research conducted by YoungMinds, 87% of young people worry about climate change and 82% of young people** worry about political issues such as war and conflict. Often parents shy away from talking about these ‘adult’ topics, as they don’t want to worry their children, but their children are already aware of and, sadly, worrying about these issues.

Find out more on Uncommon.