Hellblade: CPFT supported PC game about psychosis wins five BAFTAs !!!
Senua is ‘courageous, dignified and determined’ says Cambridge professor
An innovative computer game which gives an insight into experiences of psychosis and which was supported by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) has received five British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) nominations in its Games Awards.
Staff and Recovery College East students at CPFT spent three years working with Ninja Theory, the Cambridge-based company behind ‘Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice’. In the game the central character, Celtic warrior Senua, has mental health challenges which have been brought on by trauma.
The game has just received the most nominations in the BAFTA 2018 Games Awards, across Artistic Achievement, Audio Achievement, Best Game, British Game, Game Beyond Entertainment, Game Innovation, Music, Narrative and Performer. The awards ceremony, hosted by Dara O’Briain, took place on Thursday 12 April at Troxy, London.
Professor Paul Fletcher, academic lead for CPFT’s adult and specialist directorate, together with students from the Trust’s Recovery College East, acted as special advisors to Ninja Theory.
With bases in Cambridge and Peterborough, the Recovery College East offers a wide range of courses to help people develop new skills or increase their understanding of their own or other mental health challenges and their pathway to recovery.
'Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice' is the first game to use state-of-the-art techniques to evoke the voices and visions experienced by people who live with psychosis. The game uses a binaural technique that mimics 3D human hearing – players experience visual and auditory hallucinations as if they are Senua and 'hear' voices just behind them, or whispering in their ear.
Professor Paul Fletcher, who is honorary consultant with CPFT, said: ''I am delighted that Ninja Theory has won so many awards for 'Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice'.
“They have done something risky but important, and potentially valuable in representing experiences that most people find deeply alien. The fact that they are doing so in a first-person subjective viewpoint in a game setting, which demands that the player fully engages with the experience rather than simply passively observing it, makes it all the more powerful and has already got people on the internet and in the media talking in an engaged, thoughtful and respectful way about the nature of these experiences and what it must feel like to have them.
Paul, who is also Bernard Wolfe Professor of Health Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and a Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellow, added: “Critically, for me, the heroine, Senua, is not a weak or broken figure. She is frightened and bewildered but she is also courageous, dignified and determined and I feel that these attributes are there because of what they Ninja Theory team experienced in their extensive interactions and discussions with the people at CPFT and Recovery College.'
A total of 45 games have been recognised by BAFTA, showcasing the very best games of the past 12 months and highlighting an outstanding level of creative excellence from a broad range of UK and international development teams.
The Awards, including the nominations, are voted for by BAFTA’s global membership, comprising experienced games industry practitioners from a range of backgrounds in game development and production.
Storytelling can boost mental health
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) specialist clinical psychologist Dr Kate Nurser has conducted the first UK research on how storytelling can help the recovery of people who have experienced mental health challenges. Kate worked with students at CPFT’s Recovery College East on a paper which has just been published by the Mental Health Review Journal.
The students all took part in RCE’s Telling My Story course, which uses the storytelling process to help individuals to make sense of what has happened to them and celebrate who they are. While highly valued by students who have taken part in courses at Recovery Colleges across the country, qualitative research in the area has been limited to two small studies abroad.
Kate – who collaborated with colleagues from the University of East Anglia and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust – hopes the paper will further the understanding of how the storytelling process can positively impact on those who use it. The findings suggest that storytelling can be a highly meaningful experience and an important part of the individual’s recovery journey. They also point to ways that UK mental health services could make more of the storytelling process. For a copy of the paper, please contact Kate.
Recovery Stories - Recovery College
Some of the Recovery College East students have been involved in the publication of this fantastic new book, Road to Recovery: Our Stories of Hope.
In the book, there are some inspirational stories describing the incredible journeys people have taken on their road to recovery. We've been truly humbled putting these stories together and we hope you can experience some of that inspiration when you read them.
You can download a copy here! There are now printed versions available for you to buy that are just £5 each. If you'd like to buy a copy, you can send a cheque for £5 payable to Recovery College East to our Peterborough address, or you can pop into either of our colleges, in Cambridge or Peterborough, to buy one. (Addresses for the college sites are at the bottom of the article) We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Peterborough Recovery College East:
Telephone: 01733 746660 or 01733 746662
Cambridge Recovery College:
128-130 Tenison Road
Telephone: 01223 227510