We’ve gathered some digital materials that you may want to use as part of your fundraising. Of course, that’s up to you and you can plan your fundraising activity however you like – just make sure you’ve read our terms and conditions, first.
Talking points – Gaming the Mind
Talking points – mental health and games
You might want to use one of these cards to promote your fundraising on social media. They are formatted to be best used with only one image per post, so pick the message truest to your heart. Feel free to use these during your stream, too. Click for full size.
Please don’t use our regular logo for your fundraising activity. However you’re welcome to use our “in aid of” logo. Click for full size.
Talking points – Gaming The Mind
You will already have some idea of why you want to support us as a charity, so please speak from the heart during your fundraising. Our charity is run by mental health experts, bringing our expertise in healthcare and combining it with our passion for video games. Your fundraising efforts will help us continue our activities promoting positive mental health in the gaming community, and here are some of our activities that you can mention:
Education: we’ve helped teach young people about mental health concepts through the medium of game design. For example, teaching at the Big Creative Education school. Our charity includes education experts, and we have more teaching programmes for school students planned. Your donations can help us deliver this.
Education: we’ve received funding from Maudsley Charity to develop videos on safety in online games for vulnerable user groups. Your donations can help us produce a wider variety of online safety videos.
Education: we’ve held or contributed to talks on mental health, for various audience groups. At EGX and EGX Rezzed we have had audiences of gamers, while we have spoken to games industry audiences at conferences such as TIGS, devcom Summit, and TAGG Summit. Meanwhile, we have provided educational talks to medical audiences including at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and PsychTech conference, which we helped organise.
Education: we regularly provide teaching on mental health to game development students, which can have benefits in terms of wellness, and also in terms of games they are making which have mental health themes (and a lot of them do!). One such course is at the National Film and Television School.
Health promotion: we have proudly worked with Checkpoint to bring chillout rooms to busy gaming conventions such as EGX and EGX Rezzed. We now run our own chillout rooms at conventions such as MCM Comic Con. These rooms give gamers and exhibitors a place to unwind, and receive mental health information. People visit the room for all kinds of reasons, including people who have mental health conditions, who appreciate some quiet time to reduce stress. Your donations can help us deliver chillout rooms to more conventions, and keep the rooms supplied with chillout activities and the latest mental health information materials.
Health promotion: we have produced information leaflets on common mental health issues, with a style designed to appeal to gamers. Your donations can help us develop more publications and help us get our publications out there to people who want to read them.
Heath promotion: we are building links with healthcare workers with aims to directly support people receiving mental healthcare. This year we are launching a program to supply video game supplies to mental health units, and to monitor the impact on the wellbeing of patients.
Representation: The vast majority of games that address mental health do so in a problematic manner. We’ve advised a number of developers regarding mental health representation in their games. This is ultimately beneficial for gamers because they get to play more games with positive representation. We are proud to have provided advice for the BAFTA-nominated Before I Forget, as well as A Hero’s Guide to Gardening, among others, and with more games to come.
Research: we have an ongoing research project involving use of video games to teach medical students psychiatric topics. This can eventually benefit patients, as this could contribute to better psychiatric training. Our game intervention is fully developed, and our study has ethical approval at King’s College London. Your donations can help fund further research, including from other research teams, into the mental health aspects of video games.
Media: we create content to raise awareness of mental health issues, with games as the focus. This can help stimulate conversation about mental health among people who aren’t often targeted with mental health information. We write articles for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, we produce a podcast, and we have an active social media presence with thousands of daily impressions on our mental health-related content. Your donations can help us improve and increase our media output, including video production.
Media: we have spoken to the media about a variety of mental health topics related to video games, which can help inform the public of these issues. We’ve spoken to outlets such as the BBC, Men’s Health, and Buzzfeed.
Legislation: we have spoken at Parliament regarding their inquiry into online harms. We have submitted written evidence for their inquiry into online harms and their inquiry into loot boxes. We have also spoken at Parliament regarding a proposed bill encouraging research into video game benefits.
Collaboration: we are pleased to have worked with or contributed to the activities of organisations such as Checkpoint, UNICEF, and Mental Health Foundation.
Representation: we are pleased to have worked with organisations who promote inclusivity in the games community, such as Mayamada and Melanin Gamers. We are also proudly UKIE #RaiseTheGame Pledge supporters, championing diversity within the games industry.
Your donations will also help us develop more materials providing information on mental health topics, as well as allowing us to commission people with experience of mental health issues to work with us.
And of course your donations will help us cover the running costs of a charity, and, as we scale larger, allow us to build a dedicated staff team to work even harder to achieve our goals.
Talking points – mental health and games
You may have your own points you want to raise regarding mental health, so please say what is true to you and your experience. You may find some of these talking points useful.
Half of mental health conditions have started by age 14. The majority have started by age 25. That’s why it’s so important for young people to talk about and be aware of mental health issues, so they can get help quickly.
1 in 4 people will experience mental health issues in a year. 1 in 6 will report having a mental health condition. Despite this, mental health issues are likely under-reported. If you are experiencing mental health issues, please don’t feel you are alone.
Many young people don’t seek help for mental health conditions. This can be for reasons of stigma, or poor understanding of mental health issues. Of course, there’s also the issue of poor access to mental health services. But clearly it’s important to break the stigma, and increase mental health awareness, so that young people have a better chance of seeking help before their mental health worsens.
A study of Steam games found that nearly all (97%) that dealt with mental health topics did so in a problematic manner. Games are a huge entertainment medium, and we need to improve mental health representation in games, so players aren’t receiving such unhelpful messaging.
For younger people (under the age of 35) suicide is a leading cause of death. Clearly this is a demographic that mental health services must work hard to reach.
Especially during the pandemic, games have kept people connected, helping to reduce isolation. Players report that gaming can help with relaxation, with feeling a sense of control, with building routine, with distraction from stress, and with feelings of accomplishment. Some players make online friends who they can discuss their problems with. Have games helped you feel better?
If you have concerns about your own mental health, there’s no replacement for medical advice and appropriate medical management. Make sure you speak to a mental health professional. If you feel unsafe, you should seek urgent medical attention. If you want to talk to someone but don’t have anyone you trust, you can find a helpline at befrienders.org depending on where you are in the world. Don’t keep your feelings to yourself; reach out to someone.