Mental Health Awareness Week 10-16 May 2021

Hi everyone!

If you don’t know me, my name is Oli and I am 15Kings’ Mental Health Coach, available to all of our players, content creators, and staff!

This week, it is Mental Health Awareness Week and I wanted to create this notice letter for you all to read through and just learn a little bit more about the importance of Mental Health and its impact.

Obviously, this letter is optional to read, but I highly encourage that you do; mental health can affect anybody, and it only takes the current circumstances for mental health to unconsciously takeover. Not everybody can recognise poor mental health, and the people who do, very often, try to drown it out and refuse it access, but in-turn worsen it

I am always available for contact, and will always do my best to help anyone, whether it be a player or staff member – I have left further resources towards the end of the letter for those who may need them, but please do not hesitate to contact me.

I think we should first establish what mental health is. As defined by WHO, mental health is one’s state of well-being and their ability to cope with the stresses and anxieties of life, and their ability to work productively through them.

This year’s theme of mental health awareness is Nature. Nature is a staple to peoples’ emotional and psychological health as we ourselves live among nature, although more recently that has started to decline. This is largely in part to the ever-growing industries and further advancements that although bring huge and exciting discoveries, also disconnect us from our true origin.

Nature has powerful benefits for our mental health, its unique ability to bring compassion in times of stress and how our interaction with nature allows us to shut those feelings of isolation and distress allowing us to protect our mental health. I think a main issue today, is younger generations’ lack of engagement with it, and yes, I know you have heard this in school or from parents, but they are right! If we think about this globally, Nature is not a luxury.

To some areas of the world, it is a small resource that is barely still there, and we must give our best efforts to preserve it – this can come down to basics like fresh and clean water, or the deforestation issues that are concurrently happening.

Prioritising our mental health has never been as important as it is now. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the deep and lasting scar it has left on millions of lives, the impact of the many lockdowns, the severe loneliness as well as the unavoidable recession that it has created.

As well as worldwide issues that have left us questioning the issues that will arise next. People from BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) communities have experienced a greater deal of loss due to the systemic racism that unfortunately, has only come to light recently. Research has shown that people from BAME communities are more likely to experience mental health problems within any given week, but this is not to say that we have not all suffered from mass amounts of trauma because of the pandemic, although mental health triggers and pressures of employment and finances had a bigger effect on those in BAME communities.

I think that people often look at Esports as the getaway or the escape from the ‘real world’ or ‘real issues’ when the card can be flipped both ways. If someone who is aware if the issues they are battling, especially someone in a competitive/ team environment, continues to play and play thinking this struggle will pass... It is only going to get worse. Now, obviously, not everyone will have this struggle, but it is important that we all take a step back to reflect and identify whether we do; an increase in anxiety during competitive or scrim games, feeling an increase of pressure to live up to the standards you set yourself - these are prime examples of this, and we need to be able to combat these thoughts and feelings, and this year, with the theme of Nature, it gives a real opportunity to assist in combatting this.

I think organisations as well as players and coaches need to be enlightened on these issues and made aware of the possible danger and impact under the right circumstances.

I think this week we should make our best efforts to get out and take advantage of the nature around us and really think about how impactful it can be for our mental wellbeing.

Ways that Mental Health Organisations encourage you to do this:

• Experience Nature: Taking time to grow a connection with nature during the week and recognising nature within your daily life.

• Share Nature: Take photos and/or videos of the nature around you and share these to others to inspire them to go outside and connect.

• Talk about it: Use online resources and this letter to reach out to your family, school and/or work friends and your local community to help them encourage others to connect.

I really hope you are able to take this week and experience all that you can, remember, I don’t expect you to look at trees or grass and fix your problems just like that; but the hardship this pandemic has brought on us, has also brought one of the worst hardships we as a human race have ever experienced for our mental health and its important we take fully advantage while we can to bring it back.

Below I have left further resource for those who made require access to them:

  • CALM – Website: Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (5:00pm – Midnight)

  • • The Mental Health Foundation - Website:

• PAPYRUS – Young Suicide Prevention Website: Phone: 0800 068 4141 (9:00am – Midnight)

• YoungMinds – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Website: Twitter: Phone: 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Fri, 9:30am – 4:00pm) • NSPCC – Children’s charity combatting abuse Website: Phone: 0800 1111 – Child 24-Hour Helpline 0808 800 5000 – For Adults concerned about a child.

• Refuge – Domestic Violence advice Website: Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-Hour Helpline)

• SMART Recovery UK – Drug & Alcohol Misuse Support Website: Phone: 0330 053 6022 – For General Enquiries

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