Our Generation app: co-designing a digital intervention engendering resilience and self-awareness in children and young people

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their negative impacts on mental health, self-regulatory capacities, education, employment, and crime are well-known. Therefore, building resilience at a population level has the capacity to reduce the likelihood of several stress-related disorders and, consequently, self-harm. The importance of psychological well-being among Children & Young People (C&YP) is evident from global estimates highlighting 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
This paper reports on the literature, design thinking and development stages of a digital app to promote and evaluate evidence-based quality resilience and peace building interventions by engaging C&YP and their key contacts in activities and games that build emotional resilience, self-awareness, and emotional regulation.

Literature review
The importance of psychological well being among C&YP is evident from global estimates estimating that 1 in 7 (14%) 10-19 year-olds experience mental health conditions, yet these remain largely unrecognised and untreated. Helping C&YP to understand their wellbeing and recognise and manage their own emotions, is an important part of building resilience. Resilience is recognised as an important factor in Trauma Informed Care.
Indicators identified from our review of academic literature as contributors to emotional resilience and peacebuilding include:

●Mental Health and Well-being (Feeling good about myself)
●Empathy (Understanding how others feel)
●Perspective-taking (Someone else's shoes)
●Intergroup trust (Better together)
●Coping and problem-solving (Mind craft)
●Outgroup Attitudes (Interacting and building relationships with other groups)

These indicators formed the basis for a monitoring and evaluation framework to be used in the digital resilience app, around which gamification was planned to promote and support engagement by C&YP in the content and questions put forward in the app via simple games.

Based on this monitoring and evaluation framework, co-production workshops were designed and held with groups of young people aged 8-23, to identify, explore and seek consensus on ideas for the gamification of the app, assisted by C&YP support workers. Pilot workshops validated the proposed question areas and focus for the six main workshops to engender design thinking for the app.

In the app, there are 3 challenges to complete for the six indicators, 18 games and activities in total. Players complete an indicator-specific questionnaire, based on the games and activities they have engaged in, both before and after each level. As players progress through the game, stars are earned as a reward and players are then ranked according to how many stars they have earned. There are four ranks that can be achieved, from Student, through Expert, then Ambassador to Champion

Evidence illustrates that resilience training and interventions can support a decrease in psychological distress and increase suicide resilience. This app will provide a population wide resource that can be used to improve resilience and peace building, and evaluate changes in attitudes, knowledge, behaviours, and skills across these indicators through the gamification of interventions relating to these.

OUR Generation project is supported by the European Union PEACE-IV Programme.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 4 Jul 2023
Event International Digital Mental Health & Wellbeing Conference - Ulster University, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Jun 202323 Jun 2023
Conference number: 1


Conference International Digital Mental Health & Wellbeing Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • gamification
  • mental health
  • app
  • youth mental health


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