Utilizing games in the co-production of mental health services
This study analyses the application of a co-production approach in utilizing digital games and game-related methods in mental health services. The goal is to offer a real-world experiment on co-production, focusing on mental health service users, active gamers and mental health practitioners who worked together in equal ways and valued each other’s unique contributions during the experiment. The implications of a co-production approach for applying digital games in the field of mental healthcare are somewhat limited and under-explored. In this case study, seven workshop sessions were held involving service users, gamers and professionals. Participants were interviewed concerning their experiences with the activities and content of the co-production workshops. Thematic analysis of the participants’ experiences and perceptions resulted in three main themes: 1) empowering participation; 2) cooperation on a level playing field; and 3) improving self-efficacy. The experiment showed that applying a co-production approach in utilizing digital games is worth implementing in mental health services, particularly when putting novel nursing approaches and procedures into practice. Overall, co-production turned out to be a beneficial approach to introduce and implement game activities into mental healthcare; therefore, it can be taken one step further, meaning that service users’ experiences are truly valued, and they can play a crucial role in developing mental health services.
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