NEWPORT-BORN Hollywood actor Michael Sheen and former Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh are among the famous faces lending their voices to a campaign intended to protect children from cyber bullying.
The Bedtime Stories series, which also features actor, author and singer Carrie Hope Fletcher and former Love Island personality Anton Danyluk, comprises short films addressing issues such as trolling, self-harm and social media.
Suicide prevention charity Papyrus has said it wants the four-part series to raise awareness of the impact of dangerous content on young people.
Mr Sheen, who reads the tale of Annabelle And The Trolls, said: “I’m incredibly proud to be part of the campaign, which highlights the very real dangers that young people face in our increasingly digital world.
“Bedtime Stories speaks to those with young children, or indeed young people in their lives, raising awareness of how the online environment can impact on the mental health of those using it and reminds them that Papyrus is here for them, should they need help and support.”
The films, delivered in rhyming couplets, offer a modern twist on the traditional bedtime story, warning of hidden dangers but also offering hope.
Ms Hesmondhalgh, who reads Rachel And The Rabbit Hole, said: “As anyone who works in the mental health field will tell you, awareness is key – knowing how to see the signs in those around you, but also knowing where to seek help and how to talk to people who are struggling.”
Papyrus chief executive Ged Flynn said: “We are so grateful to Michael, Julie, Anton and Carrie for lending their star qualities and unique personalities to deliver what is a very powerful campaign.
“We need everyone to be aware of the impact online bullying and harmful content can have on the mental health of children and young people.
“It affects them in many different ways. It can impact on their self-esteem, emotional wellbeing and can cause them to feel isolated and worthless.
“Some vulnerable young people spiral into self-deprecation and self-loathing which can ultimately lead to suicidal behaviours.
“Parents and caregivers do well to engage with their young people in terms of what they are doing online, give support and reassure them that they are safe and protected.”
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.
For self-harm prevention help and advise, contact the Papyrus HopelineUK on 0800 068 4141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org