Find a centre near you... FIND HELP

During the later half of the pandemic, we noticed many referrals received were related to social anxiety, social skill needs, and low self-esteem and self-confidence. Rather than employ traditional modalities to address these needs on an individual level through Counselling and Therapy services, we looked at different ways we could meet these needs in a therapeutic, play- and strengths-based manner while also reducing service wait lists. Former clients and community partners had noted benefit and interest, following a Dungeons and Dragons summer session ran in Summer 2020.

We trialed a first Dungeons and Dragons group, with a specific target being children who are routinely marginalized due to different ways of interacting socially (i.e. ADHD, autistic, etc.) and found it to be very beneficial. We have since delivered another iteration of the group with plans to continue, integrating Dungeons and Dragons as a lower-intensity care step in our child and youth mental health services. We hope to share our experience with others in the sector. Using a story-telling approach and other narrative tools used in Dungeons and Dragons, we will share the rationale and background behind the creation of a Dungeons and Dragons group as a child and youth mental health service; discuss the different iterations of group and how program evaluation helped strengthen each iteration; present mixed-methods outcomes and performance measurement as well as bold data collection methodologies; and guide how other agencies can integrate Dungeons and Dragons within their service model.


Mark Colvin (he/him) works as a counsellor in the Kenora office at FIREFLY. He has a diploma in Social Service Work and is currently completing a Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work. Mark’s favourite aspect of working in child and youth mental health is using play as part of the healing process and offering cultural healing practices. Outside of work, Mark enjoys videogames, anime, travelling, and spending time in nature.

Zoé Campbell (elle/she/her) works as a clinical manager within the Child and Youth Mental Health team at FIREFLY. She has a Master of Health Science in Occupational Therapy and a Graduate Diploma in Public Policy and Program Evaluation. Zoé’s favourite aspect of working in child and youth mental health is having the ability to innovate and think creatively in order to meet child and youth mental health needs while making services fun! Outside of work, Zoé enjoys travelling, reading, yoga, and gardening.

Skip to content