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Pressing Continue on Tomorrow
A Gamer Looks at Mental Health
Often, when we hear “Press Continue,” we think about gaming, but we don’t consider what it could mean from a mental health perspective.
“Press Continue” can mean so much to so many different people because it doesn’t have one meaning.
Statistics show that 89% of gamers struggle with depression and 92% struggle with anxiety.
Studies that took place between 2007 and 2009 from The Youth Risk Behaviour Survey revealed that teenagers who reported five or more hours of video games a day have a higher risk of suicidal ideation and planning.
Sometimes pressing continue can be extremely hard, but sometimes it can be easy.
We reached out to members of Checkpoint and asked them, “What does it mean to you when you hear press continue?” One of the responses was from a community member and Guardian, Perispectus.
“Pressing continue is taking another step forward into the unknown, or into spaces we know but fear to tread. Can be especially hard in the face of failure (perceived or real), sometimes it feels like we’ve used up all our lives or quarters or retries, and that we don’t have (or perhaps feel we deserve) another chance. But we do — we have (and deserve) another chance, and it’s crucial we know that. The “game of life,” as it were, won’t flash that message in front of your eyes, but it’s there, the chance to step forward and try again, perhaps differently this time.” says Perispectus.
What gamers may not realize is that there are several organizations that strive for them to press continue. One of the many is To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA).
TWLOHA's mission statement reads: "presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide."
Loey Platt, a staff member of TWLOHA, believes
"Press Continue means that my story still goes on. It means that I can have a hard day or maybe a hard week, but still understand that it gets better. Tomorrow needs me, and it needs you too. To press continue is to show up for myself, each and every day."
While Loey may work for TWLOHA, all views in this article are her own.
As a non-profit organization, TWLOHA’s success is greatly depending on their community of Twitch streamers raising money for them during events such as World Suicide Prevention Day.
They also depend on different mental health warriors; one of those is Shot2TheHeart, a Twitch Streamer and grad student in counseling.
When asked how we can help people to continue, they said.
“Ask. Get curious. There’s this fear that if you ask someone if they are considering suicide, that you will somehow prompt the action. That’s not the case, and sometimes just getting curious and asking - and following that up with real presence and listening - can mean the world to someone.”
Sometimes asking someone if they are okay isn’t enough; what you may be able to do is “help them locate resources or guide them to the people who can. Never underestimate curiosity and presence for yourself and others.” says Shot2TheHeart.
No matter what curveball life throws you, know you are not alone.
If you need someone to talk to, you can text “TWLOHA” to 741741, and someone from the Crisis Line will contact you for free.
It may be hard and scary to ask for help, but it is also needed.
Always remember that your life matters; even when life may be tough, Jesus is carrying you through the storm.
You are loved by God, by us, and YOU MATTER.
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