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5th December 2018
Talking About Gaming and Anxiety
[Advent Calendar 2018]

It may not be one of the most Christmassy of topics to write about, but this year I wanted to spotlight some amazing organisations and the work they do. Today I wanted to talk about gaming and anxiety, and two companies that work to make lives easier for gamers and those in the industry. Through their work, they've formed programs to help those with anxiety and highlight the importance of mental heath especially for developers working with hefty demands and tight milestones.

While both charities we're going to be talking about are based in the US, they often work internationally too, and hopefully will inspire more organisations worldwide in the future.

The first organisation is Take This!

Take This

Founded in 2013 by Russ Pitts, Susan Arendt, and Dr. Mark Kline Psy D, Take This is a mental health charity formed in memory of a colleague. The charity provides free resources, training and advice for gamers and developers to help with mental health. In addition to providing online resources, their ongoing AFK Room helps event attendees and exhibitors find a quiet and safe space to relax during a busy show. This year they also started their Ambassador Program, teaming up with streamers whose duty it is to fight against the stigma of mental health by promoting hope, acceptance, kindness, and self-care.

Their online resources focuses on dealing with a number of mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, PTSD and tackles subjects such as stigma, suicide, and therapy.

The charity relies on donations to keep them going. which can be made through their website or through regular funding campaigns to keep the AFK Room going.

To find out more about the charity, check out their website, TakeThis.org.



Anxiety Gaming

Similar to Take This, Anxiety Gaming is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing mental health resources for the gaming community. While their resources are open to all, they specifically target individuals between 14-23 to help clarify and educate about depression and anxiety. The organisation helps the individual create a recovery plan including someone to talk to with affordable costs, lifestyle improvements (diet, exercise and sleep), and connecting them to an open community.

You can support the charity in a number of ways! First of all, the organisation accepts donations that will go towards the recovery of a fellow gamer. But there are a number of ways to donate without donating money; you could send some used games to the organisation, or volunteer your time by playing games with someone who may not have many friends to play with to help them create new social circles.

To find out more about the charity, check out their website, AnxietyGaming.com.




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