- Dr Tony Bates -
Tried and tested with schools
Great for 1-2-1 and group setting
Compliant with OFSTED framework
Low cost and budget friendly
No refresher training required
Mental Health First Aid trained
Perfect for all staff and pupils
No additional materials needed
Answer to CAMHS referral times
In more detail
About Book of Beasties
Book of Beasties is a fun and easy to learn card game where players team up with Oscar, Abigail & Mimic. Together they must use weird and wonderful contraptions to help bizarre creatures that have escaped through a mysterious portal from another dimension.
BUT WAIT! Not all is as it seems, the game also acts as a platform from which to talk with children and young people about mental health and wellness. The central focus of the game is to raise emotional literacy, de-stigmatise the open and positive
conversation, and practice exercises, activities and carefully selected yoga poses that could potentially be supportive.
More Than Just a Game
The Beasties represent certain manifestations of depression and anxiety, each with a number of items that can help.
Aside from the actual card game, the intervention - using the Beastie Guide - encourages the conversation surrounding mental health by discussing how each character feels, what may have caused this and how we can help them feel better.
Through trialling the game in schools we have found that this offers an ideal platform for children to talk about their own emotions, raise their own concerns and practice the simple and accessible wellness exercises that the item cards represent.
"An initiative such as Book of Beasties is sorely needed for our children if they are to stand a chance of being emotionally functional, happy adults." Mae Harris, Haseltine School, Sydenham.
The conversation and hopefully the increased capabilities to cope with problems continues as the game is played outside of the classroom.
We have seen this method of mental health education work first hand, with students opening up about their personal issues to the SENCOs (Special Education Needs Coordinators) and other school representatives involved in the trials. It has even encouraged some to help others feel more comfortable talking about such a sensitive subject.
It’s not just for kids though, Book of Beasties has been played and enjoyed by Key Stage 2 and early Key Stage 3 children, as well as adults. If you just want a fun and original game to play, you can – if you want something more then it’s there, take from it what you will.
Our ambition for this game and other similar projects to come, is to normalise and de-stigmatise the open and positive conversation surrounding mental health amongst younger people, inside and outside of the classroom.
From talking to teachers – including SENCO representatives from a number of schools, and the children in those schools – it is apparent that many do not feel comfortable talking about their own or their peers mental health.
There also appears to be a lack of help for those children who do suffer – with minimal material tailored to them to offer a gentle helping hand.
Book of Beasties makes it easier for young people to talk about this subject by relating their feelings and how they think others feel, to the characters – then learn simple ways to help combat disorders as they arise.
It does not claim to be a cure, or a final solution but a coping mechanism that can be delivered and monitored as the children progress and continue to play.