Emotional and SEN support for young people through gaming, game design and digital skills.

Through online 1-to-1 sessions, MindJam provides mentorship and guidance to young people to support their emotional needs and SEN identity through positive, non-judgemental and low-demand sessions. 

We are proud to be an approved provision for many local authorities around the UK and work with the schools, specialist provisions, NHS. We also work with Sony, BAFTA and other games companies.

Mentoring

 

 

At MindJam our primary focus is to support young people’s emotional well-being. We believe that the key to doing so is by engaging them in a world in which they feel safe and comfortable, namely video games. We support young people between the ages 6 – 25.

Our mentors’ shared passion for gaming provides a platform to build a trusting, long-lasting relationship from which we can support their individual needs, whether emotional or SEN. All mentors are experienced and trained in supporting  neurodivergent individuals including autistic young people and other additional needs such as PDA, ADHD, anxiety, stress and trauma.

Support can take many different forms; it can be playing Fortnite, Minecraft or Roblox. Or through developing a digital skill such as game design, 3D design, digital art, animation, music editing or video editing. However, our focus for all mentees is the same – to support their emotional wellbeing. These activities are great for relieving stress, anxiety and providing emotional regulation and have been shown to greatly benefit mental health and cognitive development. 

Due to high demand for our service we operate a waiting list for all applicants, including those with funding, which is currently approximately 4 months for mentoring sessions. Please contact us for further information and to be added to our waiting list.

Counselling

Being a parent to a neurodivergent child or a child suffering anxiety can often be challenging, stressful and isolating. We believe it is vitally important to look after your own mental health to be the best support for your child. We are now proud to offer counselling for parents with one of our excellent counsellors. If you would like to enquire about sessions please get in touch for more information.

We currently have spaces available for young people and parents on our counselling service.

Dan Clark
MindJam Founder / Owner

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My years of experience in teaching, music, computers, working with children, coding, graphic design, and also being a parent of two autistic children, have led me to founding MindJam. There are so many amazingly talented children who are lost, struggling and feel they don’t fit in. My goal is to build their self esteem, confidence, and ease their anxieties all whilst honing their skills and abilities to help them reach their incredible potential.

I've been a teacher for over 20 years, I've helped thousands of children to play instruments, game design and code. In these sessions I have gained great experience in being a good listener and mentor to these children and have often helped children gain confidence and overcome obstacles.

I've recorded and released albums and singles, been featured on BBC and Channel 4, played at the London 2012 Olympics, taught the youngest grade 8 rock guitarist in the UK and won awards for songwriting and web design.

I am fully DBS checked, have full safeguarding training and have completed an accredited Counselling Children and Adolescents course. I am also very experienced in working with and helping children with ASD, ADHD, PDA, Anxiety, Trauma and other mental health issues.

We source the very best mentors who are passionate about gaming and technology and are skilled in connecting with young people. All our mentors are experienced and trained in working with young people with a variety of different backgrounds, including neurodivergent young people, autistic young people and other additional needs such as PDA, ADHD, anxiety, trauma and PTSD.

FAQ'S

For answers to our most commonly asked questions regarding sessions, please visit the FAQs page.

Benefits of Gaming

Read our guide to the benefits of gaming, that looks at current research around health and wellbeing.

We'd love to hear from you.

If you would like our team to get in touch with you to discuss how we can help you and your young people through our services, please feel free to fill out our contact form, and we will be in touch as soon as possible to talk you through enrolling with one of our mentors or counsellors

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“My son has been having sessions with his mentor for a couple of months now. He looks forward to the sessions with excitement and engages animatedly throughout. His mentor has a responsive, compassionate, fun style that works well for E, who struggles with anxiety in particular around demands.

This style of engagement is perfect for enhancing confidence and because the sessions are collaborative my son can take a lead and feel more in control, allowing a strong relationship to form.

E’s mentor is clearly a lovely person who gets and responds to the individual needs of the children he works with. What a fabulous idea to connect with and help children in a way in which they feel passionate!”  

Anne

“I wholeheartedly recommend MindJam and Dan and can’t rate the service highly enough! My son is an anxious worrier and very reluctant scholar. His meetings with Dan are a high point of the week. He loves chatting and gaming with Dan, which puts him at ease enough to be able to open up and talk about his worries. A much needed, five star service!”

“Our son is 12 and has been out of education for 27 months. He is Autistic, chronic anxitey, school trauma and demand avoidant.

Thank you Dan for setting up this great service that benefits so many children. Also, thank you for allocating our son with mentor Leo.

Prior to sessions starting we had a zoom session with Leo, our son was unable to participate at first, but with a low arousal, no pressure approach he was able to wave, see Leo’s face and hear his voice in preperation for his sessions. This no pressure approach was wonderful meeting his needs and reducing anxiety.

He looks forward to every session and comes off each one beaming. Leo is very approachable, he listens to our sons needs, wishes, works alongside him and us his parenrs. Leo validates his worries or concerns. Our son has come on so much within such a short space of time. From their first session he said he felt relaxed and able to talk to Leo.

We are very grateful to Dan, Leo and team for providing such a fabulous service for our children. Thank you for making such a difference in our child’s life.”

Our 12YO son is Autism/ADHD and has been out of full-time school for two years after a really difficult start to year 6.

A’s deep love for gaming and the many hours I spend as a parent on Autism/ADHD parenting groups on Facebook led me to read about MindJam. I became convinced that this could be just the thing that A needed. We even managed to get it funded by the LA as part of A’s EHCP.

From the minute A started talking to their mentor in their first session, there was an instant connection. They started gaming together like old friends and it’s very clear that their mentor knows exactly how to talk to young people. A’s demeanour after a session is striking. He’s bouncy, happy and full of energy. Not something we see much of at all usually.

The initial weekly sessions were 30 minutes long, but A was getting so much out of working with MindJam that we doubled them to one hour.

A’s mentor manages to chat to A about really difficult topics like how he feels about school in such an effortless manner. We communicate with our mentor separately to give him context around what’s going on at home so he gets an insight into both perspectives. A is now learning how to code with MindJam which he is enjoying immensely.

What’s MindJam given us? Hope for the future. Hope that A’s skills and passion for computer gaming can be harnessed and developed. Relief that there’s someone out there he can talk to and who understands him. If A had a choice, his mentor would be his teacher five days a week!

It is vital you know what an intrinsic part Luke and your company’s support have played in helping A get to where he is. Luke’s patience, approach and flexibility have been precisely what A has needed to help him recover to this stage, and also adapt to being ‘him’.

We can’t thank Luke and you enough for providing this for so many young people.

‘I’m sure other people tell you but you’ve saved us.

You saved my boy.

He smiles again, he talks to us.

And I don’t feel like I want to break into a million pieces all the time.

So thank you.’

“My 10 year old son has a very complex profile of autism including extreme PDA and school trauma and he has been having sessions with MindJam for 4 months. My son takes a very long time to engage with others (if at all) due to negative experiences in education but he engaged with his mentor instantly. I believe this is due to the mentor’s approach which is low demand, friendly and responsive, with a manner which exudes unconditional positive regard. His mentor always treats him as an equal which is so vital for successful engagement with the PDA profile . He always brings positivity to the sessions without fail.

I have been looking for something like MindJam for my son for a number of years and what I have found is that it’s quite rare to find a good fit for an extreme PDA profile with extremely high anxiety. When you do find it, it’s like striking gold!

In my experience there are a few key attributes to look for when sourcing a tutor/mentor for a complex profile like my son and they are the right personality, skill, intelligence and shared interests. MindJam has all of these and more. If the mentor doesn’t know something that my son has requested (which isn’t very often) then he will go away and research it meticulously and return with the correct knowledge to inform the session.

In the 4 months my son has been working with MindJam through the lockdown, he has made excellent progress in that he is now managing the transitions with ease, has been able to compromise in situations and is learning reading, spelling and technical skills all through gaming. My son looks forward to the sessions and through the mentor’s patience and understanding when my son’s anxiety has been high, my son is easily able to re-engage with the peace of mind that they are someone that he can trust.

As a result of the safe and happy space that MindJam creates, my son is supported well and as a result this has improved his self esteem and maintained positive mental health during the lockdown.

I would highly recommend MindJam and I just wish there were more tutors/mentors out there with their profile and skill set. I feel very fortunate that they have come into my son’s life.”

Joanne Lee

“We are so grateful that MindJam came into our lives. My son has had an extremely difficult few years, MindJam has brought fun and laughter back into my son’s life on a regular basis. This is no mean feat, particularly after the added stress of lockdown.

My son is 11, has been having a weekly session with MindJam since January 2021. My son is autistic, demand avoidant, and highly anxious. He’s had dreadful experiences in education. His mentor is enthusiastic, happy, accommodating of my son’s needs, understands his needs better than most people.

His mentor uses his understanding of autism and wellbeing, and his shared passion for gaming to connect and build trust with my son. MindJam has had the most success with my son of all the professionals that have worked with him since he became too anxious for school.

My son looks forward to his sessions and wishes he could have more than 1 a week. He frequently asks me when he will be seeing his mentor. He creates things in Minecraft in his spare time to share with his mentor. My son has built the level of trust in 5 months of weekly sessions, that he can talk to his mentor when something is concerning him, which is monumental. After a session with MindJam my son’s mood is always lifted. MindJam’s sessions provide fun, support with wellbeing and also technical knowledge of which I am lacking!

Thank you MindJam you are the highlight of my son’s week.” – Jess

Jess

We'd love to hear from you.

If you would like our team to get in touch with you to discuss how we can help you and your young people through our services, please feel free to fill out our contact form, and we will be in touch as soon as possible to talk you through enrolling with one of our mentors or counsellors

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