Paragon Skills’ apprentice plays eQuoo for 5 weeks and this is what happened…

eQuoo is a new adventure game-based app that increases your mental and emotional health through the teaching of psychological skills, clinically proven to reduce anxiety and depression in its users, based on real-time research. Through gamification, the app builds resilience, reduces anxiety, improves interpersonal relationship skills, and promotes personal growth.

eQuoo is using a choose-your-own-adventure game style to keep their players engaged as they work through the skills to build their resilience and coping mechanisms to aid in personal growth and emotional and mental health.

Due to the partnership between eQuoo and Paragon Skills, I have been given free access to the full game as an apprentice at Paragon Skills, in order to help myself and all Paragon Skills learners to improve our mental and emotional health.

Studies show that young adults aged 18-28 are the most vulnerable to mental health issues, with less than 35% having access to psychological care or therapy. eQuoo aims to improve this number by teaching the same skills by simply opening an app on your phone, enabling users to help themselves in a convenient time to them and anonymous setting, empowering individuals and reducing stigma; all while playing a fun adventure game.

I myself am within the category of 18-28; graduating with a university degree at the very beginning of Covid-19. For everyone, and this age group in particular, times have been difficult through Covid and in the aftermath we’re currently going through; this is all likely to have an impact on our mental health. Although you may not have any ‘diagnosed’ mental health issues, you may still struggle with mild stress and anxiety – this is where eQuoo aims to help; giving you the tools you need to deal with these emotional responses in a better way and preventing the need to seek further help.

Personally, I am prone to stress and the mild anxiety around ‘perfectionism’ and ‘imposter syndrome’, both of which work together to convince myself that my work will never be good enough and I don’t deserve the praise I receive for the work I do; which of course will add to general stress. This is why I chose to try playing the eQuoo game, to see if it could help with these types of emotional and mental health issues. Luckily for me, this was the first lesson in the game; teaching about generalisation and cognitive distortions. Through this first level of the game, I learnt that the majority of us will think through generalisation in a negative way – seeing one negative event as a never-ending pattern (for example failing an exam and believing you will always fail). These thoughts are known as cognitive distortions; thinking patterns that reinforce negative emotions. These kinds of thoughts can destroy self-esteem and self-worth, instil a fear of failure and trigger symptoms of anxiety and depression. Sounds familiar when thinking about my own issues; stress, perfectionism, and imposter syndrome can all trigger these same emotions and I’m sure I’m not the only one with thoughts like these.

eQuoo is based around Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Positive Psychology, which are proven method to help with these kinds of thoughts or negative generalisations. The lesson explained that through growth and teaching, we can change our thinking to stop focusing on the negatives, and increase our mental flexibility to accept the negatives and move forward with a more positive outlook.

Although I have only just begun my eQuoo journey, I have already learnt how to help control these negative thoughts, and as I play through more of the game, I look forward to learning about my own mental health and how to improve my thinking. The game has a wealth of knowledge and information, based on scientific study to help you improve your emotional and mental health. You can begin improving your mental health today, just by playing through an adventure game and making choices based on your own thinking.

At first, I felt the game design was slightly too young for my age group and that of other learners but as I began playing through it, I became interested in the conversations and the skills I was learning. So if you have your doubts about eQuoo but are still looking for a way to develop your emotional and mental health for the better, give eQuoo a go and I believe you’ll be surprised at how much it makes you feel after the first few hours playing. eQuoo is currently available to download on Android and iOS play stores, and the NHS app store on a free trial.

If you are also a learner with Paragon Skills, there’s nothing stopping you from just downloading the game and giving it a try – thanks to the partnership between Paragon Skills and eQuoo, all Paragon Skills learners have been given full access to the game for free! This is an amazing opportunity to improve your emotional health and enjoy the game whilst doing so. As a fellow apprentice, halfway through the course, who can struggle from time to time with mental health issues such as stress and low-level anxiety, I highly recommend downloading eQuoo and playing through the first few levels to see what you think; and maybe just like me, you’ll be hooked and waiting to start the next level!

eQuoo is currently available to download on Android and iOS play stores, as well as the NHS app store on a free trial. To find out more visit the Equoo website – or download the free trial now from the app store. If you are a current learner with Paragon Skills, when asked for your verification code, put in your BUD code and you’ll have full access to eQuoo.



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