Mental Health

Helping Foster Children Think Like Superheroes | by Stuart Fitzwilliam | Nov, 2021

Stuart Fitzwilliam

November is National Adoption Month, a month set aside to raise awareness about the urgent need for adoptive families for children and youth in foster care. There are over 122,000 of the children in foster care are eligible for adoption, waiting, on average, four years for an adoptive family. While just 26% of the children who left foster care were adopted, 52% of these were adopted by their foster parent(s).

There are almost 424,000 children living in the U.S. foster care system and the number has been rising. And up to 80 percent of children in foster care have significant mental health issues. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Healthy Foster Care American Initiative, identifies mental and behavioral health as the “greatest unmet health need for children and teens in foster care.”

Pokėmon for Positive Mental Health

At Cards for Calm, we want to make a difference in the lives of these children. Our new game, Imaginhero™, for 1–4 players is like Pokémon for positive mental health.

Fun to play, Imaginhero is rooted in widely-used, and well-evidenced, techniques used in cognitive behavioral therapy. The gameplay is designed to help develop emotional intelligence and empathy by teaching patterns of positive thinking through play.

Players equip their Heroes with superpowers to battle the monstrous Echoes who have overwhelmed their friends. Each of the powers is based on an underlying visualization that promotes positive thinking, while each of the villains represents an unhealthy emotional response to a stressful situation.

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