War Child UK has launched a video to highlight the effects of warfare on young people’s mental health.
Called Escape Robot, the video follows a small robot that is struggling to fit into everyday life: it is withdrawn and unable to make friends at school, has problems with studying and sufferd traumatic flashbacks. When a button on the robot is pressed by its mother, its metal armour falls away to reveal a girl inside.
The charity said it had concentrated on mental health in this latest campaign having noticed a "sea change" in the perception of the issue in the UK, and wanted to turn the focus on to children, for whom the issue is equally serious. It forms part of War Child’s wider work on prioritising the provision of mental health and psychosocial services for children affected by conflict.
The video is supported by the hashtag #EscapeRobot and coincides with the release of a new report, Reclaiming Dreams, which focuses on the effects that conflict and warfare have on children’s mental health.
Rob Williams, chief executive of War Child UK, said: "War Child is working to change the conversation around mental health for children living with the realities of war. We’ve seen a sea change in the perception of mental health in the UK, which is fantastic, and it’s important to take these issues as seriously for children dealing with the real consequences of living through conflict."