Introduction from the ChairPosted: 10 Oct 2019
Safe In Our World has been in the works since 2017. Through a number of conversations and discussions, it evolved from a bunch of video game industry people giving money to a mental health charity, to wanting to do more. Much more.
We all took a step back and looked hard at our lives and our histories, and it became pretty obvious that this had affected us all greatly over the years personally and to the people around us.
I have a close relative who has the worst kind of paranoid schizophrenia, and is untreatable. I’ve seen way too many friends ‘sectioned’, and in the time it has taken to develop Safe In Our World, there have been three suicide attempts connected to family members of the initial trustees and founding members, all due to mental health breakdowns. Sadly, two of the those died. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what is a huge problem.
Mental health is a silent disease. It takes many different forms. Some are easily treated. Some need more work. But through my life, I’ve found that anxiety, depression, agoraphobia, addiction issues, suicidal tendencies, well… they pass. Sometimes with treatment, sometimes through talking, sometimes through a dogged drive to get through it. Time is also a great healer, and being on this side of a number of personal issues, I’m pretty glad I made it through. That said, help along the way would’ve been very much appreciated.
Talking to people, having access to information, being able to ask questions without the stigma associated with mental health issues; this is a major part of the issue and is the foundation of our objectives within Safe In Our World.
We are committed to making a difference. It will take a year to get fully operational and recruit as much of the global industry as possible, but it will happen. We have the Safe In Our World website which will grow in to a default destination for help, access to information and to read about real people who have had real issues, and how they have dealt with them.
We are also going to be working with a wide range of video game companies to implement a set of mental health in the workplace guidelines. If we get companies thinking about it, then the message should reach gamers that much quicker.
We will also be lobbying – yes – harassing the UK government to do more. The standard of care is so low and thin on the ground now that help is hard to find. That has to change.
The video games industry has access to a large number of vulnerable people. It is our duty to help. We can reach them and share this message. If we all work together, we can actually make a difference.
Let’s do this!