We all know that many children and young people are struggling with the pressures of today’s society and their emotional health and lack of adequate support is often headline news.

As a school nurse (and a mother) I get to see these struggles first hand.

As part of completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Child and Adolescent Mental Health at the University of Central Lancashire I designed a tool to be used with children and young people. This tool is a leaflet with the letters BE HAPPY on the front and corresponding words on the back to be completed with the child or young person.

Each letter covers an issue that I have found contributes to some of the difficulties young people can face and all areas are evidence based.

B-Breakfast (in my experience YP don’t have it)

E-Enjoy (in order to feel good you need to do things you enjoy)

H-Healthy (Being physically healthy has a direct link to being emotionally healthy)

A-Achieve (recognising achievements makes you feel good)

P-Positive (looking forward to things helps you stay emotionally healthy)

P-Praise (Everyone is good at something)

Y-You (it is important to be encouraged to be yourself)

By promoting skills regarding how to help to ‘BE HAPPY’, may not only benefit those experiencing current difficulties, but could also act as a preventative measure for those currently without any emotional struggles.

Ultimately the more preventative work regarding emotional resilience that can be done with children and young people, the less need for more in depth support at a later stage. The target group for this flyer is children in year 7 (11-12 years old) as the transition from Primary to Secondary school can be difficult to cope with and self-help skills could be particularly beneficial for a child at that time.

As a school nurse I support many year 7 pupils and the ‘BE HAPPY’ subject areas were identified as a result of the issues that they were bringing to the school nurse. However, this flyer could easily apply to children and young people of any age by using the same messages and I have had positive feedback from children as young as 8 years and as old as15 years.

I have used this resource on a 1:1 basis which has worked very well but it is also equally beneficial in a group setting and can be worked on over several weeks covering one or two ‘letters’ per session.

The actual leaflet/flyer folds down into a pocket sized resource (just to fit a school blazer pocket). Thanks to Pennine NHS Foundation Trust for their support and sharing my vision.

About the Author:

Passionate school nurse


  1. chrissiep 5 May 2016 at 8:11 am

    I would love to have a copy of your leaflet to show my husband and his teaching colleagues – would that be OK? My email address is [email protected]. I seriously think that this very simple idea would also be of use with adults – nice one!

  2. [email protected] 10 May 2016 at 12:04 pm

    I also really liked your ideal/flyer; thus, may I also request a copy of the leaflet – I am involved in a number of child health related activities, including my clinical work in A/E. Please feel free to use my NHS address: [email protected]

  3. tedpetite 30 May 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Well done. This is an area that I’m keen to promote and look to work in partnership with academics and NHS trusts to develop key communication tools. Would love to speak to you about this project. Dave

  4. Victoriaholbrook 7 June 2017 at 4:07 pm

    This is great can I have a copy of the leaflet please?
    [email protected]

  5. Sinead Kingsbury 8 June 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Hi really like your pocket size “BE HAPPY”” tool. As a new Public health Nurse Practitioner for 5-19 year olds in West Cumbria I am keen to promote emotional health and wellbeing in schools. Is it possible for you to share your leaflet? Please feel free to use my NHS email address [email protected]

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