My Brain Robbie, a new educational campaign put together by groups focused on brain health and Alzheimer’s disease, aims to reach an audience often left out of brain-health discussions: kids.
People, generally, don’t think of Alzheimer’s disease in terms of young children—but a new initiative, complete with a brainy mascot, makes the case that maybe we should.
Recently, Global Brain Health Leaders—a collaboration between the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) and two Alzheimer’s-related groups, the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Society UK—announced a new animated campaign called My Brain Robbie, which aims to teach children ages 6-12 about the importance of brain health.
According to a press release, the campaign aims to fill what’s seen as a gap in dementia prevention among young children. Dr. Eleonore Bayen, an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health at GBHI who helped develop the program, noted that while awareness of Alzheimer’s is high, not much is being done to focus on brain-health risks that children themselves face.
“While education at school offers us an amazing opportunity to fight stigma as well as social and health inequities, it appears that ‘dementia prevention and brain health at school’ is currently not being addressed and this would surely improve public awareness worldwide,” she said in the news release.
The eight-part program, which Bayen developed in collaboration with people in numerous scientific, medical, and creative disciplines, touches on things that children can do to keep their mental facilities in tip-top shape—among them maintaining healthy lifestyles, getting a good amount of sleep, keeping in touch with friends and family, and (of course) avoiding brain injuries.
Victor Valcour, GBHI’s executive director, noted that the campaign not only encourages brain health among children but also prompts children to spark conversations about it with the adults in their lives.
“Her innovative strategy of teaching children who will then engage in dialogue within households to ‘educate-up’ to parents and grandparents while reducing the stigma of dementia is timely,” he stated.
The initiative, which includes other learning materials, is available in both English and French.