Working in the games industry, it can often feel like there are a thousand things to do which are more urgent than looking after your own mental health. However, there is ample evidence which confirms that common conditions, such as depression, anxiety, stress, burnout, and social isolation, can impact on your work and your wider health. A systematic stigma against mental illness has resulted in many people feeling unable to speak out about their experiences or get help, causing a long term impact to their wellbeing.
Dr Jennifer Hazel is a medical doctor, psychiatry registrar, and founder of CheckPoint – a non-profit organisation to connect mental health care with video game technology. In this lecture she will explain how to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, how to seek help if you or those around you are affected, and simple things you can put in place to protect your mind and body. In addition, Jennifer will discuss leadership and management strategies for studios and companies to provide increased support and promote a more healthy working culture. This includes understanding the impact of worker’s mental health on company productivity, recognising personality styles, how some people can be more prone to stress, and what kind of structures can help address this.
Mental health is not DLC – it should be integral to your workplace culture and your personal work ethic. In return it will reward you with a more fulfilling life – and help you to make your game.