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MindMate News #6

regular bulletin bringing you news and up to date information about MindMate and young people’s mental health in Leeds.

Decide the night – new app game for young people

Decide the Night is a new, immersive game designed to encourage young people in Leeds to make safer choices around alcohol. Created with young people, for young people, Decide the Night invites the user to take part in five different drinking scenarios, with the aim of enjoying a full night out with their friends. The game launched earlier this month, ahead of Alcohol Awareness week (15-21 November).

Each scenario is story-based, focused on a different drink and situation, as suggested by the Leeds-based 14-15-year-olds who co-created the game. After selecting a drink, users are taken on a virtual night out with their peers. Too many unsafe choices, and the player’s night is cut short.

The range of health and educational facts, as well as persona-based endings, make the experience fun, engaging and educational. This interactive game has been designed in consultation with Dr Bridgette Bewick, Associate Professor in Psychological Health, Wellbeing and Education and the University of Leeds. It is intended for use in drugs and alcohol education in school and youth work settings, and as part of restorative justice approaches, as well as for young people to discover and use independently.

A video about the game is available here:

MindMate Support Team launch

The MindMate Support Team celebrated their full service launch in September. The team formed in January 2020 and have been through a training period as part of the governments plan to expand the mental health workforce, and put mental health support in education settings. The team offer early emotional wellbeing support for young people up to 19 years old in education settings across Leeds. The service was developed in partnership with mental health services, education providers and young people. Our aim is to improve access to support for children and young people, to prevent any emotional wellbeing difficulties becoming harder to manage. We also work with staff in education settings to build cultures where wellbeing is prioritised for all.

The existing team works in Further Education, and from January 2022 the team will be expanding to start working with some primary and secondary schools, with new team being introduced each year for the next three years.

Throughout September, the existing team have participated in college inductions and freshers fairs to promote the service to students that attend the colleges we work in. They had a lot of fun and made some great links with college staff. We have also successfully launched our ‘drop in’ service which is enabling young people to self-refer to the team within their education settings.

Apart of Me: Helping young people struggling with grief

A child loses a parent every 2 minutes in the UK. And as a result of Covid, we are facing a grief pandemic. Apart of Me is here to support young people and their families find a way through the heartbreak and confusion of grief. At the core is our unique award winning mobile game, co-created by experts in child psychology and young people who have experienced loss. The game translates bereavement-counselling techniques into a 3D world, to help young people learn to live fully, despite their bereavement.

Through the game we can provide help in a format young people understand – on their own terms and at their own pace. To get more information and to access the Apart of Me game click here

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