Healthcare company Kaiser Permanente has started promoting its ‘Presence of Mind’ mental health awareness campaign and has joined forces with prominent esports organization Cloud9 to help them reach the gaming community.
Presence of Mind sets out to help “build a stronger mental and emotional foundation across the nation, reducing stigma and encouraging teens and young adults to prioritize their well-being”.
“We are not aware of any other connection like this between a healthcare system and an Esports organization,” Don Mordecai, M.D., Kaiser’s national leader for mental health and wellness, told FierceHealthcare.
“If you look at the demographic, esports is attracting youth and young adults. We have been interested in mental health in that demographic for several years now.”
Mordecai believes the need for something like this is even more critical at the moment “during this period of stress and physical isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We think it’s an awesome opportunity to reach youth and young adults who are in the gaming community,” Mordecai said. “We wanted to come out and proactively reach them with mental health messages, raise awareness about mental health issues, [and] decrease stigma.”
Initially, the initiative will provide mental health training to Cloud9 players, coaches, and staff, and this will be broadcast to the millions of fans of the franchise on Twitch.
Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne said, “The partnership will spotlight mental health and wellness in the esports community and set an example for everyone in the industry.”
“Gaming and esports is a refuge for so many during this pandemic, and everyone wants fans and players to be at their healthiest, both mentally and physically.”