- Anxiety and depression are massive global problems, significantly affecting quality of life of children, their families, and their communities.
- Children’s mental health problems cost nations around the world billions in terms of school programs, mental health resources, penal-system costs, and lost work productivity
- Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health problem in childhood, with 15 – 20% of children affected
- Depression in children has similarly high prevalence rates
- Less than 2% of children receive the interventions they need, so many develop into anxious or depressed adults.
- BUT! awareness of anxiety and depression problems and motivation to seek help have increased in the past decade, creating greater demand for treatment
The problems with conventional treatment programs:
- Increased demand overwhelms already under-resourced schools and mental health clinics
- Conventional programs are often didactic, overly cognitive, and based on a medical “disease” model that disempowers and de-motivates youth and their families
- Treatment is often inaccessible, costing far more than what most families and schools can afford
- Stigma remains a significant barrier for seeking help
We need a radical shift in mental health approaches for children, and game-based interventions can offer the “next generation” solutions that precisely address the limitations of conventional approaches.