To make up for it, CheckPoint stands tall, like a beacon of light, with blog posts and resources designed for gamers who struggle with anxiety, depression, addiction, PTSD, and more.
In January 2020, the following image was spread across social media because a girl in Texas saved the life of her British friend by notifying his local police of his seizure while they gamed together.
While the above image is in reference to a physical condition, I reference it here because the image resonated with me. As someone who has personally struggled with anxiety, depression, and PTSD throughout my life, I turned to games as a way of escape. I have been blessed in that friends that I’ve made through the gaming community have helped me find ways to overcome some of my struggles to become a stronger person.
That’s one of the many reasons why the work that CheckPoint does is so important. They understand that there is a need for mental health awareness in the gaming community and they create resources that are designed around elements of gaming.
How to Set up a Charity Stream with CheckPoint
- Register on the Tiltify and set up your charity event.
- Spread awareness about CheckPoint on your streams and in your social media ahead of time.
- Create channel rewards to encourage donations. Link to the Tiltify page when people want to make a donation.
- Promote your stream through social media and on forums that are relevant participants.
- Thank your participants after the stream through a shout out over Discord, your socials, or a highlight reel on YouTube.
What is CheckPoint?
CheckPoint is an Australian Health Promotion Charity whose mission is the raise awareness, reduce stigma surrounding mental health and to assist gamers in need of help. It is run by both mental health and gaming professionals who are passionate about using video games as a form of therapy in a variety of ways.
I read a few of their blog posts, a few of which show how specific games can improve mental health with the right mindset. The following is a quote from their post, Finding Serenity In Darkness: The Potential of Horror Video Games:
“Whereas the horror genre is a medium willing to face the taboos and fears of society, video games stand out given their immersive details; meshing these two art forms allows for a profound means of exposure therapy. Not only do you have to view something that may be challenging, but you also have the opportunity to work through it. In my own experiences, video games and horror continue to provide me strength in how I focus on my mental illness. Rather than linger on fear, I find myself wanting to face a challenge head-on and look for a resolution.”
CheckPoint’s Mental Health Resources for Gamers
CheckPoint has several resources for gamers, many of which were designed by its founder, Dr. Jennifer Hazel. Here are four of them:
CheckPoint created an online community, called GamerMates, for gamers who are pro-mental health. Their Discord server is their most active community. Members are encouraged to respect each other’s strengths and vulnerabilities while building friendships with one another.
GamerMates are also invited to participate in the “Game a Month Club” which is similar in style to a book club.
The Coping Companion
This high-quality card deck was designed with gamers in mind. Creative artwork aside, the more than 50 cards each have a tip for coping with stress, panic, anxiety, and more. Looking through the cards on a frequent basis can help you develop skills that will benefit you daily.
3-Step Thinking Hack Pack
The 3-Step Thinking Hack Pack is a free PDF that challenges you to take a closer look at your thoughts and thinking patterns. Sometimes our thoughts can be our own worst enemy and understanding that is the first step in overcoming some forms of mental health issues.
Videos and Twitch Channel
Check out their video section for overviews of mental health issues. They interview a variety of people to hear different perspectives and to find out how people can cope differently.
The company also has a Twitch channel and streams frequently, giving viewers a positive place to come to grow together.
How You Can Help as a Streamer
CheckPoint actually has a Mental Health Resource Pack for streamers that define ways how you can help raise mental health awareness with your audience. In addition to their tips, you can also donate to their charity or consider hosting a charity stream. You can even purchase a pack or two of the Coping Companion cards as giveaway prizes.
Mental health can seem debilitating at times, but there are resources that can help. Even if you don’t feel you personally struggle, chances are that you know someone who does. Understanding and recognizing the symptoms of specific disorders can help you care for your friends and potentially point them toward the help that they need.