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Video games for the prevention of depression and anxiety: A 21st century approach to emotional and mental health in adolescents

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - GEMH (Video games for the prevention of depression and anxiety: A 21st century approach to emotional and mental health in adolescents)

Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2021-01-31

Depression and anxiety are the most frequently diagnosed mental health problems, leading to devastating long-term outcomes that affect a huge proportion of young people across the globe. Effective prevention programs are urgently needed; however, even our most advanced programs often lead to disappointing outcomes. Video games promise a groundbreaking, 21st century innovation: games provide learning environments that keep youth motivated and engaged to practice emotional resiliency skills that help prevent anxiety and depression. The current project aims to develop genre-breaking games using evidence-based game mechanics that target anxiety and depression in youth.
In collaboration with internationally-renowned game studios, we are currently play-testing and pilot-testing a number of games for emotional and mental health.
At the end of the project, we expect to have two newly developed and rigorously tested games for emotional and mental health in youth. In addition, we have expanded our focus towards the relationship between (smartphone) social media use and young people's health and wellbeing with the aim to further support our ongoing efforts to prevent anxiety and depression in youth.
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