The idea of Game Therapy came from my own need for support and guidance when I was suffering from poor mental health throughout my childhood and into my early 30s. I quickly found that playing computer games helped keep my mind from turning me into an anxious mess. I would take refuge in games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Marble Madness, Mario Kart, Populous, and FIFA. Many, many hours of my life have been spent inside these wonderful digital worlds, but the trade-off was that I became socially isolated. I spent more and more time in my room as I depended more and more on computer games to manage my mental health.
For me, Game Therapy is an opportunity to help others in a way that would have appealed to me, enough to take that first step forward when I most needed the support.
It's with this in mind that I hope using a familiar coping tool in computer games will allow our beneficiaries to feel able to join in with our activities and participate in chatting within our group sessions. We have a team of supportive volunteers that attend the sessions. Our volunteers make sure people feel welcome and at ease in the group, while helping them to engage with others and being there if someone needs someone to talk to.
We've been running a session once a month; because we are passionate about this project we've funded the activities ourselves up until this point. Now we're asking for your support, while we work towards becoming self-sustained. Our initial target of £1,200 will sustain us for a year, allowing us to provide three hours of activities every two weeks. Achieving this target will help us to provide a consistent level of support for our beneficiaries.
I hope that Game Therapy's work will enable our beneficiaries to join other activities, groups and services that that had previously been too anxious to approach, or perhaps even gain the confidence to apply for jobs.
Why not consider a different type of donation - Got any old electronics or games? Fancy donating them? It would really help us out!
Get involved - Want to volunteer with us? You can, we also offer supported volunteering. Please get in touch.
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A couple of posters!