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What’s on our mind can be the hardest subject. So, what’s on yours?

A different kind of homework

Britain Get Talking is setting the nation a different kind of homework. It’s designed to help ease our stress and reduce our anxiety by asking what's on our minds. Take part in our national homework exercise by having a chat tonight. You don’t need a pen or paper, but if you’re unsure where to start, download our task and try writing or drawing your worries on the front cover.

The front cover of a school exercise book with an empty speech bubble at the top of the page. It contains lines to write on. Underneath the speech bubble the text reads 'What's on our minds can be the hardest subject. So what's on yours? Britain Get Talking.'
The inside of the exercise book. The text reads 'What's on our minds can be the hardest subject. So what's on yours? Sometimes the world can be a scary place right now. That's why this World Mental Health Day, we've set the nation a different kind of homework. Because talking about the hardest subjects on our mind can help ease our stress, and reduce our anxiety. And working on a shared task like this one is a brilliant way to start a proper chat if you need a hand.
' 3 steps to get talking. '1. Ask your parent, carer, or an adult you trust if they'll help you with your homework. Tell them not to worry - nothing will be marked, and they won't even need a calculator! 2. If you're not sure where to start, try writing or drawing your worries or fears on the front cover of this exercise. You can use the box or go outside the lines. Remember: there are no right or wrong answers. 3. Now, spend time together talking through any worries one by one. Discuss questions such as: How does it make you feel? What are you most afraid might happen? Would it help if you had more information? Under the three tips there is a Get listening heading. Under this the text says 'Even if we're used to talking together, it can be hard to open up about our worries or fears, particularly the more serious or scary ones. Perhaps you're afraid that taking about them might make you both worry more, but the reality is the opposite is more likely to be true. When we talk about the hardest subjects we don't have to have all the answers. The important thing is to listen without judgement, and try not to rush to resolve the problem.'
The back of the exercise book. The text reads 'Well done for doing your homework. Talking is often the first step in helping us feel better. And remember, it's always easier over a shared activity, whether that's helping with homework, cooking dinner together, or even walking the dog. World Mental Health Day is a great excuse to have a chat, but talking is a tool we can use at any time to improve our mental wellness. If you need any more advice, information or support, you can visit And remember - talk to your GP if you're ever seriously concerned. Supported by ITV Britain Get Talking, YoungMinds and Mind.'

CLICK corner to
open homework task

Download printable PDF
Ant and Dec are standing side by side against a bright yellow background. They are holding pink and blue school jotters. On the front page, there is an image of a speech bubble with lines.

[A young girl looks up at the camera. Throughout the video, a group of children are in different locations. The speakers change at the end of each sentence. ]

- Mum

- Dad

- Gran

- Uncle Alistair

- Listen up.

[A boy bangs on a drum kit]

[A girl walks down a school hallway]

- We need to talk about our mental health.

[A girl sits in a stairwell, looking up at the camera whilst on her phone]

- Have you seen the news lately?’

[One girl sits by an outside sports area and signs]

Subtitle reads: It’s scary!

[A girl leans against a railing]

- The cost of living

[A girl turns around in her seat during an assembly]

- The climate

- Crisis after crisis

[One girl sits by an outside sports area and signs]

Subtitle reads: I know you are trying to protect us.

[A boy looks at his reflection in the bathroom mirror]

- By not talking to us about these things.

[Outside a breakfast cafe, a group of school children are eating food.]

- But the truth is, we’re already talking about them.

[Children talk and eat in a lunch hall. Others are working in an art room.]

- Here

- Here

[In a classroom during a lesson, a girl turns to the camera]

- And here

Teacher: Ahem!

[The girl looks sheepish]

- Sorry, Miss

[In a science class, a girl wears protective goggles whilst using a bunsen burner]

- Nevermind maths or chemistry.

[Outside during PE, a teacher points at students.]

Teacher: John, Team B

[One boy has his shoulder nudged as another walks past him. He looks annoyed]

- Or PE

[In an empty room a young girl stands alone against a wall]

- What’s on our mind can be the hardest subject. So ask us what’s on ours.

[A girl leans against a railing]

- A proper chat can ease our stress

- And reduce our anxiety

[A boy in a crowded playground]

- So what are you waiting for?

[In a school gym, a boy stands alone in the centre of a playing court as other children run to him bouncing basketballs.]

- Come on, Britain!

[A little girl at her school desk]

- Get talking

Interested in your school taking part?

Click to find out more
The text reads 'What's on our minds can be the hardest subject. So ask them what's on theirs.' A school exercise book with an empty speech bubble at the top of the page. It contains lines to write on which reads 'floods and earthquakes.'

Top tips for having difficult conversations.

Try having the conversation whilst doing another activity for example the washing up.

Start the conversation with open-ended questions like "What’s on your mind?”

Actively listen and leave room for them to speak. You don’t need to fix all their problems immediately.

Sometimes it helps to share personal stories or experiences to help put them at ease.

If they don’t want to talk, reassure them that the door is always open when they’re ready.

Worried about a young person?

Click for more help and support

Mental Health has declined in almost 40% of school children. Click for more information.

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