At the ‘No Shame Game’ launch were back row (l-r) Michael Power, Billie Morgan, James Weldon, Shane Reaney, Tiffany Reaney,Emily Reaney; Middle row: Thomas Joyce, Patrick McDonagh, Kay McCabe, Leo Reaney Gerry Nevin; Front Ciaran Reaney and Callum Kennedy.

Youth group roll the dice with new board game

Young people from the Involve Youth Project in Meath were delighted to officially launch their 'No Shame Game' in the Newgrange Hotel in Navan last Wednesday.

From their early concept of developing a board game on the topic of mental health and shame in particular, to see their vision come to fruition and the official launch of the game was a very proud occasion for all involved.

The Involve Youth Project Meath, which has groups in Navan and Trim, is a Traveller specific youth organisation. During discussions on mental health, shame was a word that came up quite a bit in different scenarios and they began working on the ‘No Shame Mental Health’ project in 2018, launching a viral social media video in 2019 .

Senior Project Worker, Kay McCabe, said as a youth worker, you are always looking for new and interesting ways to engage young people on hard topics like mental health and the group came up with the idea of a board game and started working on it.

"It was supposed to be done in 2020 but Covid had other ideas and then we had outside workshops in the summer of 2021 with masks, and the young people sat around the table and discussed what they wanted to put in the game," explained Kay.

They were awarded funding from Meta and worked with a graphic designer and sourced a board game manufacturer in Italy to produce the game with 200 games in their initial order with a game available for every secondary school in Meath.

They have took part in Bank of Ireland's leadership project and young people are now visiting schools in Meath to deliver workshops on the mental health game. They have delivered four workshops to date and have six more planned.

She said it was very important to them that the young people were to the forefront of the project and said the project is one of a kind as its “by young people and for young people”.

They have also been approved for funding from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to share their idea with other youth organisations and groups and 300 more games are now being manufactured.

Speaking at the launch, Kay said: "The No Shame Game enables young people to understand where their sense of shame stems from, and opens a dialogue around the issues that cause shame. It addresses topics such as racism and bullying and through various different scenarios, asks the player “What would you do in this situation and why”. The No Shame Game provides an opportunity to discuss issues that are often unspoken within minority communities, such as mental health and wellbeing.

Kay, who was recently appointed National Youth Work Co-Ordinator with Involve congratulated the young people and youth workers of Involve Meath for "bringing this game from concept and design to where we have something tangible that will no doubt go on to be an invaluable tool in combating this issues and obstacles we face due to shame".