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Riot Games is announcing a partnership with Take This, a mental health nonprofit. Take This works towards decreasing the stigma of mental health issues in games. The organization also works towards increasing support for mental health in games and the industry.
Riot and Take This share a common vision for creating safe and inclusive environments, where all players can feel mentally and physically supported. To reach this goal the two companies are taking a two-fold approach.
The first approach is to create a robust mental health curriculum tailored to the varied needs of the gaming community. The second approach is a Black, Indigenous, and people of color produced video series. These videos are to help provide a space for them to share their experiences and receive support.
The partnership between Riot Games and Take This kicked off in May 2022. Riot provided Take This with grant funding to develop a free, world-first mental health curriculum designed to meet the needs of casual and professional streamers.
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The curriculum, developed by Doctors Kelli Dunlap and Raffael Boccamazzo, is tailored specifically to the needs and experiences of streamers. It focuses on practical, relevant advice and tools. It’s coming in digestible, easily searchable forms so streamers can get exactly what they need, when they need it.
The streamer life is tough. The most well balanced individual can still suffer burnout from putting too many hours in. The first module of the curriculum, Burnout 101, is available now on Take This’ website. It not only addresses burnout, but what burnout looks like for content creators.
A complementary module is also aimed at the general gaming community. It examines burnout risk factors and prevention strategies for content creators.
Streamers and burnout is just the first step
Riot and Take This aren’t stopping there, either. The partners are producing a series of six recorded panel discussions focusing on mental health within marginalized communities. The panels themselves are focusing on Black, Latine, Indigenous, Trans, East Asian, and South and Southeast Asian identities.
The six panel series is being curated and designed from the ground up by Cassie Walker. They’re a licensed social worker, a certified trauma professional, Black, queer, an activist and a gamer, too. Walker’s speciality is in the intersections of trauma, identity and mental wellness.
Each of the six panels is being led by a mental health professional who identifies with the group the specific episode is about. Panelists are going to include gamers, game makers and other creators.
Similarly to the streamer focused content, the first video in this series is already available on Take This’ Youtube channel.
“Take This has been working tirelessly over the years to support both the people who make games and the people who love them so it only felt right to team up to develop resources to serve the diverse community of players and creators that are a part of our ecosystem,” said Riot Games’ Jeffrey Burrell, in a statement to GamesBeat. “We know that there is still work to be done to create inclusive and safe online communities but feel this partnership and the work that Take This is doing will be potentially lifesaving for players who need the tools and resources that these resources can provide.”
Both companies expect this partnership to grow and evolve over time. Both are focusing on current mental health needs first. The two companies hope to focus forward as new needs pop up.
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