Focus Games, the leading developer of game-based learning tools in healthcare developed the game in partnership with Nicola J Stock. Nicky is an Emergency Nurse Practitioner, Lecturer and Mental Health Awareness Trainer. Nicky is also a Mental Health First Aid instructor for various awarding bodies and also facilitates non-certificated workshops that aim to dispel some myths around mental health and illness and encourage conversation about mental health.
These include a ‘walk and talk’ workshop that takes participants out of the training room to chat through guided topics whilst walking along in pairs or small groups. The link between walking and talking also emphasises the link between physical and mental health; in the same way that we have days when we feel physically better than others, so we have days when our mental health is good.
Conversely, we can have days when we don’t feel at our best physically, and the same is true of our mental health. It doesn’t mean that we have a mental illness or poor mental health, just that we’ve had better days.
These core aims of viewing mental health as part of our overall health, discussing myth v reality and encouraging an informal atmosphere where people are comfortable talking about mental health, led to the development of the Mental Health Awareness Game. In the game, you follow a winding path through three categories of questions: true/false, questions about mental health conditions which help to expand player’s knowledge and ‘Purple Peril’ questions that highlight the prevalence of mental health disorders and their impact on the workplace and on life in general. The game is intended as a learning tool, so players should not expect to know all the answers or become disheartened if they seem to get more questions wrong than right! Playing a couple of rounds will quickly show an increase in knowledge and facilitate informal learning through the discussions that are generated by playing the game.