PARENTS
22/07/2018 00:01 BST | Updated 23/07/2018 09:17 BST

Beano Launches New Comic Strip Focused On Mobile Phones And Kids' Mental Health

Mandi is here to help children navigate the highs and lows of technology.

The Beano is launching a new comic strip focusing on how children can use mobile phones in a way that’s positive for their mental health.

The children’s magazine is best known for it’s mischievous characters including Dennis The Menace and Minnie The Minx. It’s latest addition, the story of ‘Mandi And Her Mobile’, has come out of a collaboration with charity YoungMinds.

“Mandi, the new character, faces pressures that can have an impact on children’s mental health – like dealing with getting your first phone,” said Tom Madders, campaigns director at YoungMinds.

Beano
A sneak peek of the comic.

Comic character Mandi Sharma is a nine-year-old living in Beanotown. She goes to Bash Street School with Toots, Rubi von Screwtop and JJ. Her favourite subject is science and she’s a goalkeeper for the hockey team. 

Mandi lives with her mum Keran and her grandmother Shabu. The Sharmas are Hindu, attending Temple and observing the festivals. When Mandi gets Keran’s old mobile phone, it’s an exciting moment for her. She’s desperate to join in with her friends, but not yet aware that chatting digitally is different to chatting face-to-face.

“In a light way, her stories will help children to think through challenges and develop the resilience to cope with them,” said Madders.

“By talking openly with children about wellbeing and mental health – whether that’s in schools, in the family or through media like Beano – we can make a big difference.”

‘Mandi And Her Mobile’ will first be published next week to coincide with the Beano’s 80th anniversary.

Useful websites and helplines:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@themix.org.uk