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Puppy Power

Mental Health Awareness, Edugaming, & Canines

Mission: Mental Health Awareness: PTSD

A major mission of Hounds & Jackals is to help raise awareness of mental health issues in society. The founder has been involved for over two decades with numerous projects to  reduce stigma and myths surrounding mental health issues. His clinical practice has included working with people suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), many of which were  First Line Responders (Firefighters, EMS, police), veterans, and health care providers.  
PTSD has been affecting people for thousands of years,  documented in ancient tablets from Mesopotamia, classical Greece, to WWI “Shell Shock.”

The historical records involving the saga of the Beast of Gévaudan involved reports of many individuals seized with fear and terror from their encounters with the Beast. Thus, the designer felt developing game mechanics to help emulate and provide insight into this condition should be a core goal.

Application on Theme / Mechanics

The intent is to introduce elements that blend into the gameplay to demonstrate the impact of dealing with trauma symptoms. Fear Tokens are acquired from hunts gone terribly wrong or having one’s superiors launch a campaign of persecution against them. These cause effects that worsen a hunter’s ability to perform tasks. The development of psychotherapy and other approaches to deal with PTSD were not available back in the 18th century. Many turned to substance use and other maladaptive coping techniques. However, what did exist back in the 18th century were dogs and horses, and it has become evident in the 21stcentury of the therapeutic effects of such animals in helping alleviate/reduce the symptoms of PTSD. Thus, the game has included faithful hounds and trusty steeds as key members of hunting parties who help reduce the effects of Fear Tokens.
The final game will include a link to an optional PDF document that helps players discuss the mental health emulation aspects within the game, including debriefing points for rich reflections. Beyond the more clear-cut use of Fear Tokens, there are a variety of more subtle issues, such as the impact of class, power and wealth. Other themes include knowing the truth behind the scenes and having to deal with culture and politics.

Puppy Power & PTSD

Due to the designer’s love of dogs and their role in assisting people with PTSD, he plans to personally fund a Puppy in Training through the organization, National Service Dogs, if the Kickstarter campaign is a success.


National Service Dogs
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Puppy Power
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Certified Service Dogs for PTSD
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