World Mental Health Day: Gamer’s Guide

Today is World Mental Health Day, but what does that mean? Every year, the World Health Organization takes October 10th as an opportunity to educate and spread awareness about mental health. For the first time, the WHO is hosting a online advocacy event about mental health. For more information, click here.

For many people around the world, mental health plays a large part in their lives. Mental health is important for every individual, but how to improve and maintain mental health ranges from person to person. Some may go about their day without mental health crossing their mind, while others may struggle or constantly worry about their state of mind. The World Mental Health Day is meant to bring every person together and talk about the importance of mental health.

As someone who has struggled with mental health in the past, I believe the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Communication can be important and sharing feelings may help with what one is struggling with. As a gamer and person who has struggled with mental health, a few aspects of video games have helped me.

Many look at video games as a way to be removed from the real world to enjoy a fantasy. My belief is that video games are a way to connect with people and consume art that reflects life. There are plenty of video games that absolutely stress me out, which can be extremely fun, but sometimes you may need a break from stress. There are also games that calm me down, which are definitely worth checking out. Video games also allows for unique communication, whether you are chatting with a friend in a party chat, or choosing dialogue options in a single-player narrative, communication is a way to learn new things and experience new stories.

One game I recommend checking out if you are interested in mental health is Night in the Woods. The single-player narrative revolves around Mae, an animal like creature who deals with a form of depersonalization disorder. Mae’s friends all deal with various forms of mental illness like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Through a course of strange events, players see how each character deals with their struggles and overcome them. Night in the Woods is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One.

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