It’s Okay Not To Be Okay – with Claudia Winkleman and Esther Marshall


Claudia Winkleman interviewed children’s author and mental health activist, Esther Marshall, about her new book ‘Sophie Says: It’s Okay Not To Be Okay,’ at ORT UK’s latest online event.

The story book, which teaches children to understand the importance of talking about their mental wellbeing, was written in memory of Esther’s sister Rebecca, who tragically took her own life after a long battle with mental illness.

Esther revealed how she wrote the book over the two nights following Rebecca’s death, to share the messaging on mental health that her sister wish she’d received as a child. She explained how parents, teachers and educational psychologists are using her stories as a tool to encourage children to discuss their feelings and build resilience.

She also expressed her gratitude for the mentors in her life who have encouraged her to publish her book series and pursue her goal of teaching good mental health practices from an early age.

Esther says, “I cannot thank ORT UK enough for giving me this platform to raise awareness around mental illness and the importance of the wellbeing of our children. In supporting me and my books, ORT UK are giving me a phenomenal opportunity to help so many children and for that I will always be so grateful.”

Dan Rickman, CEO of ORT UK says, “As an education charity, ORT UK is committed to ensuring young people are equipped with the tools to fulfil their potential. Promoting good mental health in schools is essential, particularly after this challenging year and Esther’s books promise to be a vital resource for all our children. As we celebrate ORT UK’s centenary, we our thrilled to have teamed up with Esther on this important campaign and we can’t wait to start distributing copies of ‘Sophie Says: It’s Okay Not To Be Okay’ worldwide.”

There is still time to help ORT UK raise £50,000 to send 7000 copies of ‘Sophie Says: It’s Okay Not To Be Okay’ to Jewish schools across the UK and ORT schools across the globe. To donate, please click here.

You can watch the interview again here.

ORT UK is hugely grateful to our partners World ORT, The Jewish News, PaJes, PJLibrary and Beyond, for backing our campaign.