Online youth mental health organisation ReachOut Australia has joined with the Telstra Foundation and Soap Creative to develop an app for secondary schools called ReachOut Orb.
This fun yet serious educational game is designed to teach Year 9 and 10 students how to improve their mental wellbeing through the practice of play.
ReachOut Orb takes place in a mysterious world where students have to reverse a negative force called The Glitch by interacting with a range of characters that are overwhelmed by negativity.
They’re joined on their journey by a powerful artefact known as The Orb. It must be recharged daily by inputting three good things, encouraging them to evaluate their life through a positive lens.
“Play learning is a great way to develop kids’ imaginations and it’s less prescriptive, allowing them to interpret the experience in ways that are meaningful to them,” said Brad Eldridge, co‐founder of Soap Creative.
“We’re stoked to work with ReachOut – they really trusted us to take their lead on the deeper messages and make something for the classroom that’s quirky and memorable.”
Teachers are provided with free curriculum‐mapped resources developed by positive psychology experts to support the lessons in ReachOut Orb. The game initially went through a pilot program at four high schools and the results were positive.
“Collaborating with Soap and watching the world of ReachOut Orb come to life has been a really rewarding process,” said Jackie McIver, national ReachOut schools manager.
“Together we’ve created an engaging educational app that will help students understand and develop wellbeing skills, and I’m excited to see the game launch in schools across Australia.”