Welcome to this week's Spotlight Saturday. Every Saturday we will look to spotlight different gaming companies, organizations, or top news. DM us on Discord or Twitter if you have any other topics you would like us to cover!
Today in history, the US Supreme Court organized baseball as a sport rather than a business in 1922. If you have ever wondered why a governing body would concern itself as to what is a sport or not, one important impact of such an event is the exclusion from anti-trust laws. Sporting organizations take a lot of liberties in governing their own operation outside of the common law in the area, and this important distinction allows them to operate in a manner that would otherwise be legally unfair or even unjust in the eyes of the law.
What a better analogy to the unregulated nature of emerging industries, of which gaming is no doubt apart; what are your most notable unfair gaming moments that slid under the radar? Let us know on Twitter and Discord!
Today, we are taking a dive into - HealthyGamer_GG and the Healthy Gamer Foundation
Who are they?
About Healthy Gamer
Back in 2018, Dr. Alok Kanojia, a Harvard-trained addiction psychiatrist with a focus on video game addiction, decided to post to r/IamA, a popular interview subbreddit and one of Reddit's most popular subreddits. Thousands engaged in a meaningful discussion about mental health challenges. The desire to talk about mental health challenges and the commonalities among participants inspired Dr. K. to find a way to keep the discussion alive.
After forming a Twitch channel, healthygamer_gg, a community quickly formed, and grew to hundreds of thousands tuning in to feel heard by Dr. K every week. The power of the community formed on Twitch inspired the creation of Healthy Gamer- "a company dedicated to creating accessible, inclusive and affordable mental health resources built by and with the digital generation."
Within six months, Healthy Gamer became the most successful mental health platform built specifically to address the unique mental health challenges of the digital generation. The same gamers and streamers that tuned into Twitch became the angel investors allowing the company to take shape. All programming, from content, community and coaching is built on the AoE Healing approach: a combination of evidence-based interventions, meditation and Ayurveda, neurochemistry research, and peer-based coaching. The results speak for themselves. The community continues to grow, coaching and group support demand continues to rise and the opportunity to improve the lives of the digital generation is just beginning to be realized.
What do they do?
Dr. K's Background and Influence
Alok Kanojia, MD MPH is a psychiatrist, lifelong gamer, and President of Healthy Gamer. His experience includes work at the top psychiatric facilities in the world, training, and faculty position at Harvard Medical School, and over a decade of training in Eastern medicine. He has worked with everyone from strangers on the internet, to pro gamers, to executives, to incarcerated individuals. Known for his signature, holistic approach to mental health and his work with the digital generation, Dr. K now creates mental health resources through his company, Healthy Gamer.
Mental health has become shallow and one-size-fits-all shaped by pharmaceuticals, insurers, and hospitals. Healthy Gamer is on a mission to create accessible, inclusive, affordable mental health resources for the digital generation. To bring depth and individuality back to mental health, Dr. K designed an experience to help users develop personalized strategies with guides for depression, anxiety, and meditation.
After helping thousands of people online through Healthy Gamer and training the most elite psychiatrists at Harvard Medical School, Dr. K codified his approach to mental health, so that anyone can benefit from his extensive knowledge and signature holistic approach. Dr. K's Guide to Mental Health methodically takes users on a journey through Depression, Anxiety, and Meditation towards a stronger state of mind.
Dr. K's guide is aimed to assist:
- Therapy Patients
- Coaching Clients
- Students who want to learn Dr. K's approach to mental health.
- Patients diagnosed with disorders who want to learn more
- Those who are starting to take control of mental health.
- Those who are dissatisfied or overwhelmed by current mental health options.
- Those who want to understand themselves but do not have or want a diagnosis.
- Twitch chat participants
The full guide is available herefor preorder as individual modules or a bundled package.
In addition to Dr. K's guide, Healthy Gamer makes strides to further the initiative through research, policy, and second chance grants.
"We conduct and fund research on emerging mental health stressors, online behavior, socio psychological factors, and emerging macro trends that impact the everyday lives of young people. We work with students, research institutions and organizations who want to substantially add to the current body of knowledge around mental health...We all fail sometimes, it is part of life. Second Chance Grants help people get back on their feet - maybe you need help with tuition, therapist bills, or even a move to try to get your dream job. Be honest with yourself and us on how you plan to use funds to get out of your situation. We look for candidates who will go on to give back to the community."
The Twitch Footprint
Every day, mental health becomes a more widely accepted focus of conversation with the stigma of asking for help becoming more acceptable in the public sphere. Who better to showcase the impact and prevalence of mental health focus in gaming than some of the most popular streamers in the world? Dr K. has conducted a multitude of broadcasted interviews with some of the top names in community gaming: LilyPichu, Reckful, Pokimane, Asmongold, xQc, MoistCr1tikal, Sweet Anita, and many more (seriously the volume was overwhelming).
These streamers and content creators each take a leap of faith in baring their private thoughts in such a public way, exposing a side to their mental psyche we are generally not privy to in our day-to-day viewing. What is most evident during the streams and videos is how overlooked mental health truly is in the world today, and the perspective is incredibly refreshing from some of the most public figures in the gaming sphere.
Take Care of Yourself
In today's world, it is so easy to get lost in your own life. Events, jobs, and responsibilities take so much of your mental capacity that we forget to really take a step back and ask ourselves if we are happy and mentally healthy. If you are not, there is help there, and you should not hesitate to ask for it, if only in a private way.
"Healthy Gamer is not an emergency service. If you are in the United States and you or a loved one are experiencing an emergency, please call 911. For support, you can also text “HOME” to the National Crisis Textline at 741-741. For those outside the US, check out this link for what resources are available to you."
We cannot truly be ourselves until we love ourselves. Get happy, stay healthy, and game on!