Psychotherapist / Animation Producer
A (UKCP) qualified psychotherapist, Quint Boa is passionate about the use of animation as a tool to help address mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and addiction. In 2022 he published a book, ‘To Infinity And Beyond’, which explores ways animation can be harnessed to support all aspects of emotional well-being.
The ‘Understanding’ Series
In the “Understanding” series: Animation Post Covid, Quint is keen to address the rise in mental health issues and believes the power of animation can help combat this ‘second pandemic’.
Having worked in several EAPs (including ICAS) and many private sector organisations (Honeywell, HPE, BBC, Cap Gemini, Wells Fargo, American Airlines).
Quint believes animations can be used more within national and regional healthcare services, charities, and support groups. There’s also a strong case for animation to be used more within organisations for example within occupational health to support todays ‘hybrid’ workforce.
Recovering alcoholic Quint Boa is passionate about the use of animation as a tool to help treat mental health issues. Son of actor Bruce Boa, and nephew of Jungian analysts Marion Woodman and Fraser Boa, Quint’s own career has straddled the worlds of entertainment and psychology.
Nominated for a BAFTA for his voiceover work in 1992, he qualified as a (UKCP) psychotherapist in 1994, then ran a private practice and worked in EAPs, before founding award-winning video and animation production company, Synima, in 2000.
Post Covid, Quint’s been keen to address the double digit rise in mental health issues; a ‘second pandemic’.
Conversant with most psychotherapeutic approaches and treatment pathways, Quint is a keen advocate of using animation within a multimodal approach to address and promote mental health and well-being within education, the NHS and the L&D departments of global corporations.
In 2022 he published a book, ‘To Infinity And Beyond’, which explores ways animation can be harnessed to support all aspects of well-being within education, the NHS and corporations.
A regular interviewee on podcasts, Quint’s IG account acts as a free resource of mental health animations.
It is this understanding of addiction and mental well-being that drives a now recovering Quint to support those with mental health issues.
Son of Canadian actor Bruce Boa (Fawlty Towers, The Empire Strikes Back), Quint was always going to work in entertainment.
But with his aunt, Marion Woodman (author of The Pregnant Virgin), and uncle, Fraser Boa (author of The Way Of Myth), both celebrated Jungian analysts, it was no surprise that he would also pursue a career in psychology.
State school-educated (at Orleans Park, in Twickenham), Quint left with three ‘O’ levels and an HND in business studies then, in his early twenties, had bit parts in several films (Withnail And I, The Dressmaker) and TV shows (Blackadder, Only Fools And Horses).
His convincing American accent led him into the world of voice-overs and for more than ten years he was the voice of several brand ad campaigns – in 1992 he was nominated for a BAFTA for Impulse body spray.
Quint also worked for the BBC’s camera department in light entertainment, on shows including The National Lottery, Noel’s House Party and Top of The Pops.
Following his aunt and uncle into the field of psychology, in 1996 Quint was awarded an MA in psychotherapy and counselling at Regent’s University London.
Having always been fascinated by health and well-being, and the interconnectedness of mind and body (he is a trained personal trainer and karate instructor), his thesis was ‘The Occluded Body’ – the role (or absence) of the body in philosophy and the practice of psychotherapy.
He began working in employee assistance programmes (focusing on trauma counselling) and charities (including Turning Point), and started a private practice, specialising in addiction, depression and trauma.
In 2000, Quint returned to ‘entertainment’, in the form of video and animation.
Utilising the nascent internet and a rise in computing power, he founded video production and animation company Synima, formed to create corporate and B2B comms for organisations.
From a two-man business – Quint and his friend Matt Giles – based out of what was his daughter’s bedroom, Synima is now a global team of 50+ people and a leading provider of animation to several Fortune 500 companies.
Since 2014, the majority of animation work has been within sales and promotion, training and development. But, increasingly, Synima is being asked to meet the requirement for animation as part of organisations’ provision of internal mental health and wellness programmes.
During Covid, Quint and Synima supported companies by ensuring corporate cohesion with employees who were working remotely.
It was during this period Quint could see the negative psychological effects of remote working on employees and their families.
The Covid pandemic led to a huge spike in several presenting mental health problems (such as anxiety, depression and trauma) and their handmaidens (addiction, eating disorders and anger).
This spike is growing…
“We are in the midst of a second pandemic – a mental health pandemic – and this is likely to have longer-term consequences than the physical health pandemic.”
(Adrian James, President Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2020)
…and threatening to overwhelm underfunded mental health resources.
Quint believes animation can play a part in a multimodal approach to address the mental health crisis, especially in children and young adults.
He has now combined his knowledge of psychology and animation production, and worked with fellow psychotherapist James Earl to produce an ongoing series of bite-sized animations on understanding several presenting problems. These are free to download from Synima and Quint’s IG account @quintboa, and can be seen on YouTube. They have been viewed, saved and shared over 100,000 times.
In 2022, Quint and James began producing a series of pro bono mental health projects for the Royal College of Psychiatrists and CAMHS.
In the same year, the pair wrote ‘To Infinity And Beyond’, a short manifesto on how animation can be used to help tackle the mental health crisis within education and the NHS. It also illustrates how organisations can cost-effectively support employees, many of whom are working from home, by using animation within a wellness programme.
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Thoughts on animation and mental health
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