Welwyn businessman creates mental health board game after father's tragic death

PUBLISHED: 09:10 20 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:10 20 May 2019

Luke and Mark Evans, the developers of 'Sussed'. Picture: Mark Evans.

Luke and Mark Evans, the developers of 'Sussed'. Picture: Mark Evans.

Archant

A Welwyn businessman has created a board game to improve players mental health, in light of his father's tragic death.

Mark Evans was inspired by his father, who was an advertisement executive and struggled with depression, to get into board games.

The two of them would spend hours building prototypes of board games despite his father's mental illness.

"He was a bit of a loner and did suffer from depression which contributed to him taking his own life in 1980," Mark told the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

Mark turned this into a learning experience to build board game, Sussed, and hopes that he can help players find new ways to communicate and seek support from their loved ones.

"Sussed may be the game that eluded my father, but almost forty years later I wouldn't be surprised if he somehow had a hand in it!"

The game works by one player reading aloud a scenario, which the player then thinks of answers for and keeps secret from the rest of the players, then the other players have to 'suss' out how the reader answered.

The questions range from the humorous -

'I'd rather have a lifetime supply of'

a) dog food

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b) batteries

c) milk

- To the deep - 'which makes me happiest?'

a) Remembering the past

b) Thinking about the present

c) imagining the future

Then players talk about who said what and why.

Scoring is done on the basis of what other players think they deserve and happens, in most cases, before the next player's turn.

Sussed has since become a success and a sustainable living, which allowed Mark to leave banking at the end of 2016 and his son Luke to see this as a better opportunity than finishing university.

Luke says he is now fully focussed on developing the game further "with mental health practitioners and feedback from his friends."

The duo is also partnering with mental health campaign, Time For change, supported by Rethink Mental Illness and Mind, so they can encourage people to actually talk and get to know more about each other, an opportunity Mark wishes his father had been provided with.

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