Apart of Me goes global to help more children grieve
Updated: Mar 2
Grief in children and young people can be particularly devastating - Apart of Me has helped thousands of them navigate the hardest times. We know it can help so many more. So we have big plans ahead: we’re making improvements to the game and translating it into eight extra languages. It’ll be no mean feat, but it’s one that could support thousands of recently bereaved young people through the toughest time of their lives.
Hold on to your facemasks. We’re going global.
Grief sucks, but right now it’s even tougher
The effects of grief in children can have extremely serious consequences on families and society at large; yet, seeking support is just one of the obstacles young people face when they’re grieving. That’s where we come in. Apart of Me is a free, accessible and unique therapeutic game that provides a supportive and safe sanctuary to help children and young people process their grief. With 80,000 downloads (and a 4.7 rating on the app store), we know what a crucial tool Apart of Me can be to the Gen Z teenager, often a hard-to-reach audience.
It’s never been more vital to get our game out to as many young people as possible.
Hundreds of thousands of young people are losing people they love to COVID-19. And researchers estimate that the global total of deaths could eventually reach 40 million this year, leaving behind a devastating trail of trauma.
Grieving alone: the new normal?
Being around loved ones and close friends is a tried and tested way of finding a way through grief, but our new normal is a restrictive and isolating place. Children and young people are having to manage their grief and sorrow in solitude.
Traditional funerals have changed overnight: alone and dying, alone and grieving, too. We are faced with the harsh reality of saying goodbye through a screen. These impersonal, detached and virtual forms of grief make it more difficult to process our feelings.
The impact is overwhelmingly destructive. Childhood traumatic losses can develop into significant mental health problems, including PTSD, depression and anxiety, behavioural and physical health problems, and substance use disorders. And 25% of under 20s who commit suicide have experienced childhood bereavement. With hundreds of thousands of young people being affected globally during this crisis, Apart of Me is a vital and accessible tool to help transform grief into compassion, worldwide.
Loss in translation
We’re creating localised versions of the game into languages from areas hardest hit by the pandemic. To make it even more accessible, for even more young people, we’re translating the game into:
Work is underway on the German, Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese versions. Every screen will be reconfigured to display the correct language for each player’s locale – from in-game dialogue to notifications. We’ve already translated tens of thousands of words, but it’s not only about getting the words right. Because the game is therapeutic we need to get the tone spot on and make sure the content reflects any specific cultural differences.
Upping our (ahem) game
While grief in children is always extremely tough to deal with, saying goodbye remotely makes it even harder for the reality of loss to sink in. It can make letting go even harder, grief more complicated, and take much much longer to reach any sense of closure. So we’re making improvements to the game to support young people to create new rituals and new ways to grieve in this difficult, strange and socially-distanced world. From letting young people share their stories of love and loss with each other to providing ways to memorialize loved ones, every improvement will make the game better for the young people it supports.
We’re already on the way
We have a great team of volunteers behind the project: translators, web developers, proofreaders. They’re all professionals in their own fields, pitching in their time and expertise to get Apart of Me out to more young people across the globe. With zero budget, everything we’ve achieved so far is down to goodwill and a shared sense of purpose.
And we’d love your help
We’ve got our work cut out. And over the coming weeks, we’ll be asking for your help: with donations, with volunteering your time, and with sharing our posts on social media to help get the message out there.
This is our chance to make life just a bit easier for young people coping with the harsh reality of losing someone they love.
Our fireflies can lighten your dark days – we don’t want you to fumble through the darkness alone.