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Gaming to tackle anxiety

A Low cost digital intervention to provide early support to young people

 

THE NEED

Anxiety affects approximately 400,000 8-12 year olds in the UK. Anxiety has a huge impact on young people’s lives, preventing them from going to school, seeing friends, and participating in ‘normal’ activities, and causing depression, self-harm, and life-long negative effects.


Yet up to 70% of young people with disordered anxiety don’t access any treatment. Referrals to child mental health services have increased 26% in the last 5 years, but waiting lists for treatment can be up to 18 months long, and 1 in 4 referrals are refused.

SOLUTION

A mobile video game to provide early intervention support to young people aged 8-12 years with low-medium anxiety by combining exposure therapy with an immersive gaming experience.



“It was great to see so many talented, energetic people, committed to supporting children with mental health problems, all in one room and totally focused on what could really be a lifesaver for some children.”

Adele, parent of a young person with anxiety and participant in co-creation workshop

 

WORK SO FAR

  • Literature review of anxiety, CBT, exposure therapy and game design

  • Interviews and conversations with young people, parents, teachers, GPs, commissioners and therapists

  • Building a network of experts and practitioners

  • Co-creation sessions with teachers, parents, young people, therapists, children’s authors

  • Developing game narrative, mechanics and flow

  • Building a disruptive way of facilitating graded exposures

  • Testing digital prototypes with young people

  • Developing a minimum viable product to take into pilot testing in early 2019

NEXT STEPS

  • December 2018: Minimum viable product ready for testing

  • January - February 2019: Pilot testing in children’s mental health services and schools across the UK

  • April - December 2019: Build full game

  • December 2019: Launch

WANT TO BECOME A PILOT PARTNER?

We are looking for services and organisations who would like to take part in the pilot from anywhere in the UK.

The pilot will be run for free with a view to encourage pilot partners to become early adopters of the game at a discounted price.

PILOT SCHEDULE: January - February 2019

CONTACT

Manjul Rathee, Innovation Lead
manjul.rathee@bfb-labs.com

 
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