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MOH: Game Therapy for students - SPARX

05 Sep 2016 11:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Game therapy for 


Funded by the Ministry of Health, SPARX is therapy in an online game format and aims to help young people struggling with difficult emotions.

Are your students struggling with their feelings or just in a bad mood that never ends?

SPARX can help! SPARX is a clinically tested, evidence-based online game targeted at 12 to 19-year-olds (but can be of interest to younger students also) and is designed to help them feel better. 

They can go online, play the game for free and learn skills that they can use in everyday life so that they start to feel better.

SPARX is therapy in a game format designed to help teens who are down, depressed or stressed. Feedback from alternative education students said it also helped with feelings of anger.

Researched and designed by the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland, SPARX was then funded by the Ministry of Health as part of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project.

SPARX uses CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to help young people change how they think about things and how they behave which leads to improvements in how they feel. The SPARX Guide acts as a virtual therapist, relating skills learnt in the game to real life. 

Free SPARX resources, including posters and slides can be obtained by emailing Angela ata.chong@auckland.ac.nz.

Test out SPARX yourself – www.sparx.org.nz – or learn more through the training module www.goodfellowunit.org/courses/e-therapy-youth-depression.

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