Table 3

Illustrative quotes from exit interviews with participants

Experiences of digital content
Look and feelEngagement
It was more visually attractive and better when it’s visual rather than the normal books and all.
I would say it was quite helpful, it was innovative, like something new, something different.
The game has a nice quality, it keeps information private with headphones. This helps in maintaining privacy.
Valued featuresLearning through relatable stories
After seeing the story I came to know what was happening with me too, that it was the same thing, almost the same situation that was happening related to bullying and all. I had the same problem, so I figured out how to get help and so everything has become good now.
Relaxation and emotion regulation
Breathing out and breathing in. That is the thing I learnt a lot. That’s what made my problem go down a bit. My friends would ask me what are you doing, ‘you just kept quiet suddenly’ but I am practicing it.
UsabilityGame mechanics and typing difficulties
I had no real difficulties, but sometimes while putting in passwords it was difficult and the teacher would handle it.
Easy to use
Initially I was thinking that when we use the mobile to play the game it will be difficult but when I used it, it was easy.
ImprovementsImprovements to Adventures
More stories… stories feel like how lessons are. If the lesson is good so then we go to the end of the lesson, but if the lesson is boring then we don’t, so those are the kinds of stories, like the stories were interesting.
Improvements to My- POD
The same question was asked but in two different ways. I had to give the same answers, so I didn’t really understand why, I had to write it twice.
Interactions with peers and counsellors
Social acceptabilityInfluence of other students joining the programme
We all signed up together and it was good… We even recommended it to people from other schools but they were not from your group…
Leaving class for mental health support
Initially when I was called from class to go to a session my friends used to ask me where I am going. I am not ashamed to tell them that I am going to the counsellor. It’s OK, everyone needs help! Maybe it’s just in a different way. The first time I just kept my mouth shut and didn’t say, but when I went down for interval my friends asked me again, and I didn’t want to avoid them or make it look like I was hiding stuff. I just said that I was with the counsellor. I thought I would get a very bad reaction but they actually asked me what happened! They were concerned about me.
Guidance and deliveryComparisons with face-to-face counselling
The game was really good, better than talking to someone.
Sometimes you don’t like sharing or talking to someone.
In the game you are by yourself, you can put in what you want. You don’t have to worry about another person.
The app helps with its stress relieving methods but what comes from the person is much better than that. I wouldn’t suggest it as much as talking to the person. That’s much better, it makes you feel better. At least in my case it made me feel much better.
Preference for individual or group sessions
It felt good in the group. When I am individually doing it I get bored because nobody is there, if there is some movement of others then it feels a little good.
Counsellor guidance valued
It was very encouraging. It was very helpful to have someone encouraging you to go through with your solutions.
Counsellors would also help in the middle if we needed. They were like friends and telling them our problems or problem solving wasn’t scary. They would do it nicely.
Direct problem resolution The problems I wrote are not affecting me in my life anymore, so now if I get a problem I think of myself as a POD master! I realised that there are options in life and we have gone through that…to test one of them and which is the best so we can just try out them.
Ongoing practice Now I am doing regular practice sometimes because of which I feel relaxed and also getting less distraction so now I can give attention.
Increase in knowledge and skills The top most thing I learned was about the time table, and to make my own.
Future use of learning When I myself or any friends or even if my family has any problem then I can tell them this idea.