- Who is this app for?
Young people who have lost a parent or other close relative, also those who have someone important in their life with a terminal illness.
We have designed the app for ages 8+.
- Where can I get the app?
- What are you working on next?
We have big plans for the next phase of development, see our Next Phase page.
- What devices will this app work on?
Apart of Me supports iOS and Android, phones and tablets.
- How do I know this app is safe to play?
Apart of Me has been designed by an experienced Child Psychotherapist, along with a team of expert advisors, including Rachel Fearnley, author of the book ‘Communicating with Children when a Parent is at the End of Life’ 1, the Psychological Support team at St Joseph’s Hospice, and a number of other psychotherapists, and health professionals with a special interest in this area. We have also developed the game based on detailed feedback and focus groups with young people and families who have lost someone to a terminal illness.
- Are there any risks?
There is very little risk in this app. There is a chance that, as users play the app, emotions will be stirred up as they are asked to reflect on death and dying, especially on the deah of a loved one. However, we have taken a very soft touch approach, empowering the user in each moment, so that, for example, the user can throw bottles back into the ocean if the Quests contained within feel too challenging. We also have kept in mind the reality that, in the age of the internet, young people can and will look up their own information if they are not given it by the adults in their life. So we feel it is better to give them titrated information in a thoughtful way.
- What does the research say?
This app is based on the research that shows talking with children openly and honestly but in an age-sensitive way about death and dying can prevent them from developing entrenched, complex feelings around their loss.
‘Waiting until after the death to intervene cannot only leave a family feeling unsupported during a most stressful, confusing time, but can also give rise to maladaptive parent-child interaction patterns which can continue well into the post-mortem period when the stress of a terminal illness is long past’ 1
There is also a growing evidence-base of games with a clear therapeutic benefit 2.
(Dunning, S. (2006) As a Young Child’s Parent Dies: Conceptualizing and Constructing Preventive Interventions, Clinical Social Work Journal, 34(4): 499 – 514.) Beale, E.A., Sivesind, D. and Bruera, E. (2004) Parents dying of cancer and their children, Palliative and Supportive Care, 2: 387 – 393. ↩
- Where can I find more information how this game works?
We have produced a parents and carers guide which contains more information about the techniques used within the app and the information contained within it.
- Where can I find you?