A research-based mobile game & companion workbook to support
teen and young adult mental health
Free to use for Social Workers and Psychologists
The Shadow’s Edge game and Social Emotional Workbook are narrative therapy based resources to support young people to process difficult situations and identity exploration.
The Digging Deep Project and CINDE are making these ressources available to psychologists and social workers in English and Spanish.
In the game and Social Emotional Learning companion workbook, players take a journey along 57 prompts inviting them to take a snapshot of their situation in school, family and social relations and to connect with their strengths, gratitude and their dreams to support them to process difficult situations they are facing, including dealing with symptoms of an onsetting depression. In the story the players help the guardians of Shadow's Edge drive the villain Shadow out of town - realising in the process that Shadow is a part of themselves to befriend.
The game has been researched in a clinical trial and a psychological pilot study at renowned universities (Lurie Children's Hospital / Fineberg School of Medicine; University Zurich). A third independent study is being set-up in Colombia.
The free mobile game has been downloaded by 75'000 youth in the US, Colombia and Europe.
Free Mobile Game
A story driven mobile game with
57 writing prompts, art tools and
A social emotional learning Workbook with 45 exercises for Self awareness - to do in groups or individually.
Contact us for a free pdf version or order print at cost on Amazon.
Teens & Young Adults, 14 – 24 years old
The game has proven to work best for youth who are investigating their identity and processing feelings of anxiety, loneliness and sadness.
The game is available in English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese and Dutch.
The SEL workbook is available in English and Spanish.
Both resources are free. If you want to use the SEL workbook in print, you can order it on Amazon at cost of print price.
Tools based on Real World Evidence
The following independent research has been done to support the creation of the game:
Lurie Children’s Hospital Clinical Trial (Dec 2018 – Nov 2020) under the lead of Dr. Bonnie Essner on identity formation, affect variability and emotional regulation. The clinical trial with 174 participants reported that players who engaged with the Shadow's Edge game endorsed higher levels of personal or ideological identity exploration and higher levels of social and interpersonal identity exploration.
University Zurich Pilot Study (Nov 2021 – Jan 2022) under supervision of Prof. Dr. Markus Landolt to investigate the impact of gameplay as a means of primary prevention in mental health. Results suggest the Mobile Game Shadow’s Edge may represent a promising, low-threshold support measure for improving mental health care and promotion for adolescents and young adults.
CINDE study (Feb 2023 - April 2023) under the supervision of Dr. Orlando Scoppetta to investigate the impact of gameplay and using the SEL companion book on wellbeing and resilience.
How you can use the materials in your practice
You're welcome to integrate our resources into your practice in any way that you find helpful. The materials are free for you to use. If you're interested in obtaining anonymized and aggregated data from a group you work with, please get in touch via the contact form below, and we'll arrange for a code to be set up in the game for your group to use.
To participate in future research using the toolset?
To contribute to research on using digital tools in your practice?
If you want to n receive the results or want to contribute to the guide, please
We're collaborating with a team of social workers in Colombia to develop a guide on using our materials with teens and young adults in extracurricular settings at Colombian high schools and colleges.
Offers individual, couples and family therapy to adults, adolescents and children, and also a range of psychological testing and assessments. Her approach to therapy revolves around healing the divide between your unconscious and conscious selves — why do you feel the way you feel, do the things you do, think the way you think? You may have developed some of these ways of relating to the world as a child or young adult, training the patterns of your life to match your surroundings at the time. These unconscious ways of relating to the world, yourself and others may have helped you then.
Nathaan is passionate about people. This passion has led him to an enriching career as a clinical psychologist, filled with a number of twists and turns working across a variety of settings including therapeutic boarding schools, community mental health, inpatient Neuro/Burn ICU's, Integrated Primary Care, Administrative Psychology, and most recently Digital Health.
He is an active traveler and athlete - these aspects of his life have inspired him to think beyond the traditional confines of mental health care. He strives to find innovative ways to expand the reach of behavioral health services to improve the lives of others. He is currently the VP & Director of Clinical Programs with Grit Digital Health.
Dr. Vic Schwartz
Before establishing Mind Strategies, Dr. Schwartz served for eight years as chief medical officer of The Jed Foundation, a leading non-profit focused on youth and young adult suicide prevention and mental health promotion. While there, Dr. Schwartz was a highly sought-after advisor and consultant and was a leader in developing approaches to messaging to young people about mental health and helping organizations develop their mental health activities and programming.
A collaborative effort with psychologists & teens.
More than 800 teens contributed to the development of these resources, in the US, Colombia and Europe. Our psychological advisors include Dr. Victor Schwartz, and clinical psychologists Kristi Pieckewicz and Nathaan Demers.
CINDE – Fundación Centro Internacional de Desarollo y Educación Humano
Colombian Non-Profit specializing in youth education and research
Dr. Orlando Scoppetta, CINDE Org
The Digging Deep Project
501(c)3 US Non-Profit, specializing in the creation of serious games and digital tools for mental and emotional wellbeing.
Kevyn Eva Norton, Program Lead