Gaming and well being! Hobbies, communities and belonging are so important for mental health. Be proud of your passions and hobbies, never be ashamed to do something you enjoy, you are not wasting time playing a game, reading a book or reading an RPG manual you’ll never get to play.That is time well spent! Time looking after you.

This is why we work with Herefordshire Mind as we are both about looking after our communities. We have 5 mental health first aiders and a few more of the team are going through the qualifications. We will be joining the local suicide awareness scheme too (I’ll drop that in the links)

Take a moment to think about time spent in gaming / hobbies.
Forgetting the world and focusing on the now.
Making genuine connections with people.
Meeting people
Developing skills and confidence.
Actually getting out of the house
Learning new things and taking (safe) risks
Something to look forward to
Opportunities to give back and support other
Belonging to a community.

There are numerous scientific papers on the health benefits of keeping your mind active and being social

It’s not time wasted! It’s time spent looking after yourself and even looking after and supporting others. We can’t do this without you all.

Of all hobbies gaming has the potential to be really inclusive for Neurodiverse folks, as a safe place to meet which doesn’t need to involve alcohol, those with lower physical capabilities.

Links:

This is a link to a small group i run (but want to grow) to gather information on the benefits of gaming.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1940274379422478

We also have guides on how to get started on gaming, mental health first aid, inclusion and more
https://herefor.games/knowledge/

Our library is packed full of amazing games from 2 years olds up, this supports you running your own games nights.
https://herefor.games/library

Mental health first aid
www.bit.ly/HB-mentalhealth

Sucide awareness scheme (Hereford)
https://www.healthyminds.whct.nhs.uk/nwt-suicideprevention