Fresh off the back of R U OK? Day, we are reminded of the importance of having conversations with those we love to check in with their wellbeing and mental health. We know how important it is to reach out to people who are having a hard time, and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness in order for people to open up is a huge part of this process. Yesterday serves as an important reminder to ask people around you if they are doing ok, but this is a conversation we should be empowered and encouraged to have every day. But how do we start these conversations? How can we delve deeper beyond the surface to have meaningful and important conversations with people in a supportive environment?

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Momentoria is a beautiful new game designed for better mental health. Developed by award-winning Australian arts and health organisation Flutter Lyon, who we featured in Issue 04 of Kaleido, Momentoria is a tangible, simple and inspiring art game and online story course for building self-awareness and meaningful relationships in adulthood. Using the power of art-making, story-sharing and undivided attention, it offers a fresh new way to think and talk about mental health.

“When I was suffering from anxiety and depression in my own life I searched for something creative that would help me understand my life and mental health better. I started to see that a lot of the people around me who experienced similar challenges were also smart, creative and highly motivated human beings – and I wondered why we were finding things so hard. Our language and perspective was so limited – it kept us stuck. It was either I’m happy or I’m sad or I’m frustrated. What about courage, freedom, joy, love, surprise and strength? I was sure there was a better way.” Robyn Wilson, CEO Flutter Lyon

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Utilising the storytelling method of Pressography and art form of Life Pressings, first developed by Robyn in 2006 and used within community and hospital settings around Australia, the game allows players to respond visually to people’s stories prompted by thoughtfully curated questions and results in a beautiful art piece that brings the strength and beauty of the human being to the forefront. The creative process breaks down barriers and offers new tools for encouraging honesty, building empathy and increasing mindfulness.

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Initial impact data gathered from 86 participants has shown that 75% of people reported feeling overwhelmed, stressed or tired prior to their Momentoria playing experience. After experiencing the game activities, data shows a significant shift in the way people felt – with reports of positive emotions more than tripling, from 25% to 85%. The most frequent emotions reported were – calm, connected and inspired.

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In Australia, almost one in 2 people will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime*. In order to facilitate change in this area, creative and innovative solutions are needed.

A percentage of funds raised via this project will be donated to Headspace Parramatta to help fund their vital work in supporting young people living with mental health needs in Greater Western Sydney.

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To help make this project happen, order your own Momentoria game kit via Kickstarter and be part of new conversations and new stories being shared in homes around the world.

To hear even more about Flutter Lyon’s story, you can grab yourself a copy of Kaleido Issue 04 online. 

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*Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2008). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (4326.0). Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.
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