Game-style tool to combat depression in youth

3 Apr, 2014

SPARX screenshotSPARX, an online game-style tool to help young people develop skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed has been launched this week. The self-help e-therapy tool teaches young people the key skills they need to help combat depression and anxiety, the Ministry of Health says. It was developed by a team of researchers from the University of Auckland, and has been made available for free online through the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project.

SPARX uses proven cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques in a youth-friendly game format to teach young people how to cope with negative thoughts and feelings, and think in a more balanced way. As well as the SPARX e-therapy programme, the website also offers a mood quiz to help young people identify depression and information on where to get help. A partnership with Youthline and Lifeline has also been established to provide clinical back up support to SPARX users. The phone line 0508 4 SPARX is staffed by professional counsellors. Read more about SPARX on the SPINZ website.

SPARX is available at