Game Republic

Time to look after Mental Health – this week and beyond…

Last month we were lucky enough to have a talk at a Game Republic event about talent from Rosie Taylor who works for an organisation called Safe in our World. The charity focuses on improving mental health in the games industry with a clear mission “to create and foster worldwide mental health awareness within the video game industry; to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health, to make it a natural topic of discussion, and to promote the dialogue surrounding mental health so people are not afraid to reach out for help if they need it.” In our network we are also fortunate to have Adam Clewes-Boyne from BetaJester who has created an ADHD support network and platform.

We all need to be healthy and need our teams to feel supported to create incredible games but that is more challenging than ever. Tight production schedules, targets, sales, investment, uncertainty, bugs, negativity, toxicity, the pace of technology, the quest for talent can all impact on our mental health, let alone what might be happening in our personal lives! This week will help us all to be more aware of mental health, but ultimately it is our actions that will count the most.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, I wanted to focus on some things companies, educators and suppliers can do to support their own mental health. Over the years in the games industry both as a journalist and as MD of Game Republic, I have seen members of our network burn-out, breakdown or get perilously close to breaking point. I have also seen this happen in my own family too. Sometimes the passion we have for what we are doing can make us forget that we need to look after ourselves too. And as is often the case, pride can get in the way of us asking for help when we need it. At Game Republic and GaMaYo, we work hard to create a friendly, inclusive and supportive environment but when you are suffering from anxiety or stress, you can feel isolated. So I urge you to please just ask for help when you need it.  The good thing (well the great thing) about our industry is that we have so much in common, and that means there is always someone who understands your passion and will try to offer a hand or lend an ear. You are not alone. There are always good tips for dealing with stress that we tend to forget. For me, going for a walk and taking some time out, really helps. A simple act that helps to get me recentred. Talking of course with someone you trust is a brilliant way of releasing the pressure too and asking for advice. The other key thing is to have boundaries between work and home – which has got more complex since Covid19 in particular where more of us work from where we live. Separation from work life and personal life is so important.

Right now, Safe in Our World is asking companies to #LevelUpMentalHealth by rolling out support systems which can only be a good thing when games and companies rely on a very precious resource –  people. It is a great and much needed initiative. So check it out. And if you are feeling the burn, need to talk to someone, you have a network right here at Game Republic and GaMaYo, and incredible support networks like Safe In Our World to name a few. And in Yorkshire and The North, we have great companies that are undertaking some fantastic initiatives to support mental health too both within their own studios as well as to the sector itself. It is the friendliness and supportive nature of this incredible network that makes me proud, so get involved in whatever way you choose this week to boost awareness and take action for your own mental health and for others.




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