June 14, 2024

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On national superhero day…meet the little bear making a big difference to young people’s lives

A special teddy bear helping children with anxiety and mental ill health has been celebrated as part of National Superhero Day.

The TroubleMuncher toy was designed and invented by Lynn Crilly and her daughter Samantha, who has suffered from an eating disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

The teddy comes with a rucksack on its back, and a small notepad meaning kids who own one are encouraged to write down and share any problems they have. And, like any teddy bear, it’s there to cuddle too when they feel sad. The bear is also linked to a free to download app, which lets the child communicate directly with the TroubleMuncher bear.

In the app an animated version of the bear listens to the problem and then munches the issue away.

Lynn, who is also an author and counsellor said her daughter came up with the idea of the toy. And she was inspired to bring it to life due her growing concern over the lack of support available to young people.

Speaking to mark National Superhero Day, Lynn, who wrote Hope With Depression and other titles, said:

‘With mental ill health now the new pandemic affecting children as young as five, I would love to see our Trouble Muncher Toy encouraging them to share how they feel with the people they trust, which will help to develop strong long term communication skills.

“If a child is finding it hard to open up to a parent or carer the Trouble Muncher can act as the middleman between you both. It is a non judgemental friend that your child can trust and tell all their thoughts and worries to knowing they will be shared with the right people.

 

“I hope that one day the Trouble Muncher will find a home in every primary,  nursery and pre school where the children will know they have a special friend.. A trouble shared is a trouble halved.”

The impact the bear has had on those who received it is far reaching and they today pay tribute to the help it’s offered them.

A spokesman for Parklands Community School in Chichester said: “The Trouble Muncher has made himself at home in the Nurture Room of a Children’s Nursery School, where the children absolutely love him – and how he helps them to express their feelings and worries’.

Lillie Bailey, whose daughter Darla has a bear, added: “The Trouble Muncher has encouraged my daughter to talk about her feelings in a fun and safe way’.

‘The Trouble Muncher is not just any old soft toy, but a very special soft toy and a big part of my daughter’s everyday life and wellbeing’.