Clue Detective on the CUSP

It is quite clear that the huge range of benefits puzzling provides can never be underestimated.  Clue Detective has developed the CUSP (Catching Up to Solve Puzzles) Principle, a concept which is designed to highlight the benefits of puzzling for all ages, and particularly for those individuals aged 14-25.

Research shows that 3 in 4 people with a mental illness develop symptoms before the age of 25. This strongly suggests that there will be students who are suffering from anxiety, depression and other mental health issues during their school years.  But there is a way to make them feel better!

Students running a CUSP crossword puzzle solvbing clu

Discover the benefits of forming a CUSP Club

Forming a CUSP club is a great way that help foster learning and social interaction among students. Puzzles are enjoyable, stress-free and non-threatening activities.  They allow students to engage with their peers, make new friends and let their brain to focus on something helpful and wholesome. If they have the tendency to suffer from mental health issues, this will hopefully allow these anxious feelings to pass.  If they do this regularly, they will develop a strong coping strategy for the times they know are difficult for them.  They will feel much better knowing that they have a plan in place to deal with it.

CUSP promotes health, wellbeing and self-esteem

One of the roles of a school library is to foster student wellbeing. Inevitably, there will be students who are suffering from anxiety and other mental health issues.  The library provides a safe, welcoming and supportive environment. The school library is one of the first places where students begin their learning journey.  There are so many great resources on offer.  It provides the perfect opportunity for students to discover lifelong passions.  It can be anything from reading historical novels to studying genealogy.  Students can’t do them all.  They need to decide what suits them best. 

Solving puzzles holds many benefits for the whole school community.  Not only will students enjoy working on their puzzle, it will allow them to make active use of the library and its collection.  

CUSP can help develop social skills in a puzzling group

Playing puzzles in a group has many advantages.  The library may like to consider offering an online puzzle club where students can get together at lunchtime, before or after school for a session of fun, educational mental gymnastics.  It is never too early to start puzzling and getting into the habit of warding off the threat of Alzheimer’s.

Participants will be able to draw on their own general knowledge skills to help solve puzzles, which will give them a feeling of satisfaction.  In turn, they will also learn new words and facts. 

Students may even like to accept the challenge of solving cryptic crosswords.  These provide a great opportunity for them to develop their thinking and logic skills, as being a lot of fun to solve with friends

CUSP creates a sense of belonging 

Solving puzzlers with others creates a place of belonging.  While puzzles are great for everyone, there will (inevitably) be those people who are living with conditions such as Aspergers.  When someone can become bored easily, puzzles offer a great way to help keep them more focused, stimulated and connected with others in a social situation, without having to feel out of their depth. Puzzling is an activity they can enjoy “side by side” with their peers. 
School students solving online 21x21 codewords on laptops

We encourage schools to adopt the CUSP principle in their learning environments, such as the school library. When an student (or staff member) is suffering from mental health issues, they can often feel disconnected and isolated. Keeping in touch with a group of friends over an engaging puzzle is the ideal activity to keep the problem at bay.

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