Families Under Pressure is a series of animations offering advice for parents struggling in isolation
Top creatives such as Caitlin McCarthy and Aysha Tengiz, plus celeb parents Olivia Colman and Danny Dyer, join forces on this cheery and vital campaign bringing clinical research to life.
- Jenny Brewer
- 12 May 2020
A group of NHS organisations have launched Families Under Pressure, a series of animations that aim to provide much-needed advice to parents struggling during the pandemic. So far eight films have been released (with more to come soon) animated by Caitlin McCarthy, Esther Lalanne, Aysha Tengiz and Giulia Frixione, and produced by Toad with celeb voiceovers from well-known parents such as Olivia Colman, Danny Dyer, Sharon Horgan, Romesh Ranganathan, Holly Willoughby and Rob Brydon.
The cheery film focuses on the ways to help parents and children deal with the particular struggles of life at home during the pandemic, offering simple tips for keeping positive and motivated, limiting conflict, staying calm, promoting better behaviour and building your child’s self-confidence.
Empathetic and relatable, the advice has been put together by teams from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Maudsley Charity. Working with the animators, the clinical research is brought to life to make it engaging and accessible for everyone.
The advice in the films is vital, but in order for it to reach the families that need it most, the creators aimed to make it stand out from the mountain of online educational content, which can sometimes be “wordy and inaccessible”, explains Toad digital director Henry Waterfall-Allen. “By turning decades of extensive research into eight bite-size chunks, with playful animations and humorous scripts, we hope that families not only find the tips achievable and useful, they enjoy watching them too.”
Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke, professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience from King’s College London, commented: “We are hearing that many families are struggling with restrictions. This comes as no surprise as research shows that bored and worried children are more likely to play up and cause disruption, and frustrated parents can overreact to these challenges. Very quickly, these sorts of behaviours can escalate and lead to the breakdown of relationships and exacerbation of problems."
“These tips were originally intended to support families dealing with pressures of ADHD and other behavioural challenges, but are relevant for families facing the current challenges too. I am sure that having well-loved and recognisable parents narrating and a digestible and shareable format, will really help at a time when it is needed most.”
Watch all Families Under Pressure films on the campaign’s website; the shorts will also be hosted on Channel 4’s All4 platform and social channels later in May.
GalleryFamilies Under Pressure stills
Esther Lalanne: Families Under Pressure
About the Author
After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, overseeing the website’s daily editorial output.
Jenny is currently on maternity leave.