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Safe In Our World Host Gayming Mental Health Panel for DIGIPRIDE

Safe In Our World will be hosting a mental health in gayming panel within Gayming Magazine’s DIGIPRIDE event on Tuesday July 26 (8PM BST / 3PM ET).

Hosted by our wonderful Ambassador Mxiety, the Safe In Our World community will be coming together to discuss their experiences as LGBTQ gamers & give mental health care tips.

Marie will be joined by:
The Demented Raven: Safe In Our World Ambassador

Ben Grant – Mental health professional, gamer and advocate

Stuart Burnside – Video Game Certification Analyst at the British Film Institute

We also asked our community for their own contributions around being an LGBTQIA+ gamer:

“As a pansexual gamer, identifying as a cis woman, in particular, I have had a good experience within the gaming scene. But the sad reality is that people still suppress the fact that there is a diversity in gender identities.

So as a pansexual woman, I’ve always just been considered a bisexual woman. People just couldn’t understand that there could be more than just men and women and were completely ignoring how I could feel.

I’ve never faced any issues in the gaming scene so far, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. I can report that we still have many transgender or queer people that fight for acceptance of their peace even within the gaming community. In order to help them, we have to get off our asses and do something! We are unfortunately at a point where much still needs to be done for acceptance, and the prevailing sexism is still quite high.

I will always stand up for my community because that is the only way we can show those who are hiding that we will fight for them and give them mental support.”

Rebecca Cantarella – EXCEL ESPORTS

League of Legends Team Manager

“Having largely grown up surrounded by people with very heteronormative attitudes and ways of thinking, the online gaming communities I engaged in as a teenager actually played a crucial part in me being able to come to terms with my own sexuality and identity.

Furthermore, these communities not only enabled me to learn about identities and terminology I had no prior idea of but also provided me with a safe space to talk about these things.

These sorts of communities have been absolutely crucial for my mental health in terms of the clarity and encouragement they’ve provided.”

Anni Valkama – Super Rare Games

Head of Saying Stuff

Skills utilised:
News

Samaritans Self Help App

The Samaritans Self Help App is designed to help people keep track of their mood, discover new ways to try and tackle the problems that have arisen, provide techniques in trying to overcome them and overall be able to find a way to progress forward. You can check it out here

During the start of the pandemic, it wasn’t just the coronavirus that was taking its toll on people: mental health cases were also on the rise. In an uncertain time, we were locking down around the world, with many finding themselves cut off from local services. On the 18th of May 2020, the Samaritans came up with this useful app to help as many as they possibly could.

One feature within the app that we love, is the Crisis Planning Safety Plan. It allows you to remind yourself of things you can do to stay safe if you’re thinking about harming yourself, or find yourself in a crisis. Whilst having spaces for individuals to write things that give them hope, relaxation techniques, warning signs and even people that can help, it’s an incredibly important resource for people to have prepared in case they need it.

Mental health minister Nadine Dorries at the time of release said: “During these extraordinary and unprecedented times, it’s so important we look after our mental health and wellbeing as well as our physical health. Each and every one of us knows the steps we can take to look after our emotional wellbeing but this app will be a fantastic resource for anyone struggling during the outbreak or looking for additional support, and I’m sure will make a real difference to so many people.”

To this day the app is still a brilliant resource for tracking mood, being able to pinpoint the next steps forward and plan it out in a less overwhelming way. Due to the simplicity of the app, even in the most stressful of situations, the mood recording is very simple and accessible.

Key Features –

  • Track your mood daily to notice the patterns
  • Read up on self-help techniques
  • Record what is going on to help ground yourself and figure how to move forward
  • Create a safety plan for crisis planning

“Be kind to yourself every day.
Use our self-help app to track your mood and find practical tips and techniques to look after your emotional health.”

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Dealing with grief during the Coronavirus – by Antonela Pounder

Grief is such a strange emotion, as I’m finding out first-hand. A kind of suffering that at times, can feel incredibly overwhelming and confusing. One minute you’re coping, the next you find yourself barely able to type up an email or take a call. Every day is a huge challenge, one of which unfortunately takes time to understand.

My Dad was a huge inspiration to me. I loved him so much. Those that see my social media posts know how much he meant to me and how much he encouraged me in life. I never wanted to disappoint my Dad and he was ultimately one of my biggest fans. I speak in the past tense as today marks 2 months since I lost my Dad to COVID-19. We didn’t get to visit him in hospital, say goodbye or even give him the funeral he deserved, because of the world we now live in. I still don’t think it’s completely sunk in as a result. But one thing’s for sure, life without him is very, very strange.

I’ve been on this a surreal rollercoaster ride since and while still on this journey of grief and healing, I now feel strong enough to put pen to paper and talk about how I’ve coped, in the hope it might help someone who finds themselves in a similar situation. Either that or help those who know someone who is grieving. If only in a small way.

SAFE SPACE

We’re surrounded by COVID-19 news, it’s impossible to avoid. For most people, it’s hugely overwhelming but for those who have lost a loved one to this awful virus, those feelings are off the scale. Something that has helped me hugely over the last few weeks is having a space to talk to friends and colleagues where any talk of COVID-19 is avoided. At 505 Games, we have a group chat and an internal Discord server, where we’re encouraged to talk about anything and everything, except COVID-19. It’s a space where we can share funny memes, cute animal posts and basically just talk as a group of friends. We also use the space to organise gaming sessions together when time allows. (Games have helped me hugely over the last few months, more so than ever before.) Having a space where we can discuss the positive things in life has helped hugely. It’s a space that has had the power to make me laugh and smile on multiple occasions, which I’ll take as wins. I encourage you all to create a safe space for your friends, family, and colleagues. A space where any talk of COVID-19 is off the table. Give yourself a break from reality.

TALK TO THOSE YOU TRUST

It seems obvious but talking to those who are willing to listen has helped me stay afloat. Those that know me well know I’m a huge advocate for 121s in the workplace. An opportunity to talk openly and honestly about anything and everything, to someone who might be able to help if needs be. We’re all busy people, but it’s more important than ever to check in on those around you. The 505 Games family will probably hate me for highlighting them here, but I’m not sure how I would have coped without their support over the last 2 months. My ex-Line Manager and President in-particular have been incredible. They checked in on me on a frequent basis, even before the passing of my Dad. These calls helped me mentally, more than they’ll understand. I’m a strong believer as a Line Manager myself in giving your staff the time and space to talk about anything, regardless of whether it’s related to work or not. 121s build loyalty between staff and ultimately strengthen relationships. If you’re not doing these already in your workplace, I’d strongly recommend you consider them. They’re invaluable. Talking has been the best form of medicine in my case.

TAKE TIME OUT TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Allow yourself to take time out if needs be and overcommunicate with those around you so they know how you feel. Cry if you need to, log off your PC and step away from work temporarily if things get too much. I’ve had to, on multiple occasions. Thankfully 505 Games have been incredibly supportive in this whole thing and have given me the opportunity to heal. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you have to look after yourself. Now more than ever. Keep active but rest when you need to. This is so important. Don’t bottle anything up and please reach out for help if you need it. Take time to acknowledge the pain you’re going through. The grieving process has a number of stages, from denial, to anger, to acceptance. While I’m not at the acceptance stage yet, I know ultimately that’s where I’ll be one day. And if you’re also going through a similar situation, you will too!

We live in such uncertain times. Take care of yourselves and keep checking in on those around you. It makes the biggest difference.

Skills utilised:
Stories

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