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Today (October 10) is World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to global mental health education, awareness and more open communication as we work together to combat the ongoing stigma around mental health.
It's undeniably an important day every single year, but this year marks the birth of Safe In Our World, a newly-launched mental health charity for gamers and creators alike that wants to affect real, positive change within the video game industry.
"With over 50 percent of the world's population playing video games, and one in four people globally affected by mental health issues, the task ahead is daunting, but Safe In Our World will drive forward initiatives to support and help players around the world," a press release reveals.
"Founded by gaming industry veterans Gareth Williams, Leo Zullo and Neil Broadhead, with involvement from Aaron Cooper and Al Hibberd, who envisioned creating a haven for gamers and others dating back to 2017."
"The team worked meticulously to research the necessary steps to create Safe In Our World, which is supported by a diverse range of like-minded international companies and individuals equally as committed and passionate about helping those in need."
Safe In Our World is an accredited charity with support from various industry veterans and ambassadors around the world, and the goal is a fairly simple one: Create a safe place online where people can get help, talk, share resources and information, and even discover stories from real people within and surrounding the games industry.
As with any mental health charity, Safe In Our World wants to enable the conversation around mental health by destigmatising the issue, but this charity will focus on creators, professionals, and players, encouraging them to come together, support each other, and talk.
While there's plenty to come from the charity, the first Safe In Our World initiative wants to highlight mental health issues by sharing the experiences of various developers and players, starting with Emily Mitchell, who picked up a BAFTA Young Gamers Designer award in 2017 at the age of 17 for her game Fractured Minds.
Fractured Minds is a game created entirely by Emily in an effort to make sense of her severe anxiety through developing a puzzle game. In the video below, she explains how she found an escape of sorts through development, and what it meant to her to finish the game and receive her award.
If you're thinking Fractured Minds looks like it's worth a go (which you should be thinking because it does look ace), Safe In Our World also announced that Emily's game will be coming to PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. It's being published by Wired Productions, and 80 percent of all profits will be split evenly between a "private fund for Emily's future" and further Safe In Our World initiatives
"The video games industry creates worlds for a huge number of vulnerable people, and it is our duty to help and support them," said Chair and Trustee Leo Zullo.
"We can reach them and share this message if we work together; we can actually make a difference. Safe In Our World is the first step in these efforts, and we're delighted with the response within the industry and the partners and individuals who are joining this initiative."
Gina Jackson, Trustee for Safe In Our World added, "there's so much work to do in both awareness and the changing of attitudes within our industry, as well as within the communities we create and serve."
"Safe In Our World takes its first steps today, and we're delighted that Emily has allowed Fractured Minds to support the charity. It's such a poignant experience, and one we're humbled she's allowing us to share with the world."
Safe In Our World officially launches today, and you can find out more information about the charity, how you can get involved, and what it has planned right here.
Featured Image Credit: Safe In Our World
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