ThinkFun, the award-winning world leader in fun brain games that ignite young minds, published a comprehensive report that examines the mental health challenges facing today’s children and teens, and underscores the importance of building MESH (Mental, Emotional and Social Health) skills to build resilience and protect their mental health. The report, titled “Building Products with MESH in Mind,” encourages stakeholders in the games and toys industry – including inventors, manufacturers, and retailers – to embrace the crucial role they play in protecting the mental health of children through the development of MESH skills. The full report is available on MESHhelps.org.
Leveraging MESH and Play to Build Resilience
Rachele Harmuth, Head of ThinkFun, worked with physician, professor and resilience expert Deborah Gilboa, M.D. – also known as “Dr. G” – to research and publish “Building Products with MESH in Mind.” Dr. G shares research about the state of mental health in the United States, and equally important, shares encouraging news on how to improve kids’ mental health and build resilience. Gilboa underscores the power of play in developing MESH skills, including problem-solving, self-regulation, conflict resolution and communication strategies. Learning these types of skills teach children to identify and overcome obstacles, explain what they are experiencing, and ask for help when they are stuck.
Support from Medical Professionals
“Putting toys and games in the hands of parents that build MESH skills will provide a tool for them to teach these valuable skills. Having toys and games that address these skills gives parents the support strategies and creative ideas to teach them openly and to work on them together with their children.” – Jen Hartstein, PsyD Child and Adolescent Psychologist Founder, Hartstein Psychological Services.
“Parents need tools that will help build mental, emotional and social health in their children. Toys and games can be a powerful way to build these skills in children.” – Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. New York Times Bestselling author of The Whole-Brain Child Founder/Executive Director The Center for Connection and Play Strong Institute.
Join the “MESH Helps” Task Force
ThinkFun and Dr. G believe the toy and games industry must become part of the solution and collaborate to innovate products and services that help develop MESH skills. Together, they can lead the way for industry leaders to collectively work together to address and help solve the problem. ThinkFun is creating a task force to begin this important conversation between industry leaders. Join us on our journey to help make kids more resilient; if you want to learn more about the initiative or join the task force, please visit MESHhelps.org.