Understanding how mental health affects athletes – the first step to supporting discussions on mental health in esports
The world’s esports community focuses discussion on the benefits of gaming and esports on mental health issues on World Mental Health Day, observed on October 10 every year.
With the global pandemic taking a toll on mental health worldwide, reconnecting the esports community through World Mental Health Day encourages efforts in protecting and improving people’s well-being through playing together.
The Global Esports Federation, through a series of impactful initiatives, supports the WHO and the World Mental Health Day 2022 campaign towards “Making mental health and well-being for all a global priority”; and aims to build awareness and resilience, reduce the stigma around mental health conditions, and create a safe and open space for conversation within the esports community.
These initiatives align with the GEF’s commitment to promoting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Sustainable Development Goal 3 – Good Health and well-being – which promotes healthy lives and well-being for all, across all ages.
“The Global Esports Federation prioritizes the development of an inclusive, safe, healthy, and sustainable esports ecosystem. We know in the esports and gaming community that early burnout, cyberbullying, and social isolation are some of the key factors that can contribute to mental health issues. We focus our attention on online safeguarding, promotion of mental, physical, and social health and well-being, as well as creating a community that is truly #worldconnected.”
Dr. Melita N. Moore, GEF Board Member and Chair of Health and Wellness Commission
The GEF aims to strengthen well-being in esports and gaming in general so that the full spectrum of mental health needs is met through a community-based network of accessible services and support. Also, while stigma and discrimination continue to be a barrier to social inclusion and access to the right care, the GEF envisions an esports world in which mental health is valued, promoted, and protected.
Among the benefits that gaming can have on people’s mental health and well-being mentioned in a number of surveys include:
Healthy brain stimulation
Help people develop coping mechanisms for difficult situations
Express people’s true selves
Feel less isolated and excluded
The Global Esports Federation’s series of initiatives starting from the World Mental Health Day, including activating the community in the upcoming Istanbul 2022 Global Esports Games in December and future GEF events, will showcase how ‘gaming for good’ can unfold the diverse social impact of esports within the entire #worldconnected community.
“As we work with our partners, Member Federations, and communities, we can strengthen our sense of empathy, resilience, acceptance, and awareness in a collaborative effort to drive change. As the GEF supports and recognizes World Mental Health Day, our hope is to continue to remove barriers and provide a space for everyone to be seen and have their voices heard,” added Dr. Moore.