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The Week Junior launches children’s wellbeing section, part of a wider publishing trend

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The Week Junior, Dennis Publishing’s UK and U.S. title that encourages 8 to 14-year-olds to explore what’s happening around the world, is launching a new weekly wellbeing section in its 30th January edition.

Children’s mental health has been particularly impacted by the pandemic – a study in The Lancet Psychiatry found children’s mental health deteriorated most during lockdowns compared with all other age groups. Indeed, the President of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health told The Telegraph last week that more children were being admitted to hospitals for mental health issues than any other medical reason.

The Week Junior launch feature focuses on creative expression and how that can help boost mental health. It was created in partnership with the children’s mental health charity Place2Be, to coincide with their annual Children’s Mental Health Week (1–7 February). The theme of this year’s CMHW campaign is “Express Yourself”.

The overall objective is to help young people look after their mental and physical health, promoting positive thinking, encouraging a healthy lifestyle and developing confidence and resilience. The section will launch first in the UK and will potentially launch in the U.S. at a later date.

Anna Bassi, Editor in Chief of The Week Junior said: “Given how the conversation around mental health has evolved since we launched, and particularly in our current circumstances, this feels like the right thing to do for our readers. I believe that The Week Junior is well-placed to help young people manage their wellbeing by offering tools and strategies to look after their minds, and their bodies.”

Health & wellbeing has become one of the leading growth drivers within publishing. Food and nutrition, in particular, has boomed with consumers flocking to platforms, brands, and thought-leaders they trust. In its 2021 forecast, global market-research firm Euromonitor found that the global pandemic has forced consumers to reconfigure their lives, test their mental resilience, and reassess their priorities, with health & wellness taking precedence.

Bustle Digital Group, Condé Nast and theSkimm are examples of publishers that have launched new content products and platforms to cater to the increased demand for health and wellness content. This has been matched by advertiser interest with Bustle Digital Group seeing ad revenue from pharmaceutical and wellness advertisers up 34% year on year.

Speaking to Digiday last year, Jeff Rosenblum, Co-Founder of digital agency Questus, noted, “It’s a virtuous cycle. More consumers are buying products in this category so brands are increasing their spend, thus increasing demand and feeding the cycle. We have seen a massive increase in spend in the wellness category.”

In related news, Hearst UK has announced a new, three-year partnership with industry charity NewstrAid in memory of its former CEO, Terry Mansfield. Hearst UK’s support will be focussed around NewstrAid’s mental health provision and the Charity’s Anxiety Helpline will be aligned with honouring Mansfields’s contribution to the industry for the duration of the arrangement.

James Wildman, CEO, Hearst UK and President, Hearst Europe said: “Terry Mansfield’s extraordinary 50-year career in magazines included 20 years at the head of Hearst’s UK publishing business. His passion for supporting charitable causes was well known throughout the industry and we feel it is fitting that his legacy should see Hearst UK supporting NewstrAid and the emotional health of our industry colleagues in this way.”

Update 29/01: Since this article went to press, digital subscription platform Readly contacted us to say it has partnered with charity Spread a Smile to provide free digital magazine subscriptions for children in hospital. Readly’s puzzle titles include Puzzle World, Sudoku Selection, Premium Crosswords, Puzzler Suguru and children’s titles include Beano, National Geographic Kids, StoryTime, Shout and Film Stories Junior.