This blog post is going to be different than what we/I usually share, but the importance of Mental Health awareness cannot be stressed enough.
It’s worth noting that some information below could be a trigger, and this post is very personal for me as are the reasons for partnering with Safe in Our World, a charity focused on mental health awareness in gaming. - Rutledge Daugette, Founder
Some stats: In the United States alone, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness, 1 in 20 adults experience serious mental illness, and suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34. Since 1999 the overall suicide rate has increased by 35%, and there is one death by suicide in the U.S. every 12 minutes. (source 1 / source 2)
This topic is important. For me, it’s something that hits home. For many people who know me, I am an extremely extroverted, energetic, and excitable person. To my co-workers, I’m always “on” and able to handle pretty much anything thrown at me. I’ve been successful in working a full-time job on top of running this site, always eager to throw myself into the work I love.
But under the surface, there’s always something ready and waiting to change all that without any warning. I’ve suffered from ADHD since I was diagnosed as a kid, as well as depression that if left unmedicated prevents me from being the “capable” person I always strive to be.
It took me years to develop systems that have helped me manage my ADHD and even longer to realize and see the impact that depression can have on me - even while I was medicated. Sure, I knew I had depression, but it was never something I was willing to openly talk about or acknowledge. I tried to fight it, tried to ignore it, and acted like it wasn’t there. I saw admitting it, or hell even allowing myself to cry, as weakness. I was wrong, and that idea is still something I struggle with day to day.
It took me until I was 25 to really understand myself, my limitations, and how to manage/acknowledge my emotions in a way that was positive for my mental health. Since that time, I’ve put more effort into voicing my feelings and frustrations, and really knowing when it was time to step away from things and “reset” to prevent the onset of a full breakdown. Compared to others, I’ve been extremely lucky to have family, friends, and a spouse that have helped me manage my illness, and my feelings, though.
Music has been the thing that has really helped me over the years, EDM and Avicii’s music especially. That music has always had the ability to keep my spirits lifted, and my mood light. Let me tell you, though - Avicii’s death hit me HARD. I grappled with the feelings that came with it for days, and listening to his posthumous album—“SOS” especially—really hit home on my issues. You never know, for sure, what someone is going through, which is why really paying attention to your friends and yourself is so very important.
I have an open door policy at TechRaptor, an open door policy for friends, and even on Twitter. I don’t care who you are, where you are, or what you’re going through - everyone needs the ability to voice their feelings and emotions. If I can help someone just by listening or offering a shoulder - I’ll do it in a heartbeat.
That’s my story, and there’s many many more out there. I’ve been extremely lucky to have family, friends, and a spouse that have helped me manage my illness and my feelings. Not everyone has this kind of support, and not everyone feels comfortable asking for help. Mental Health awareness and advocacy is important for that very reason.
That is why TechRaptor is now fully supporting and partnering with Safe in Our World, a charity focused on mental health awareness in gaming.
The main goal of Safe In Our World is to create and foster worldwide mental health awareness within the video game industry and beyond; to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health, to make it a natural topic of discussion, and to promote the dialogue surrounding mental health so people are not afraid to reach out for help if they need it.
We decided to partner with Safe in Our World for a few reasons.
- Safe In Our World provides some fantastic resources for gamers who could be struggling with mental illness, as well as resources for those seeking to understand the signs of mental illness in their loved ones.
- The LevelUp campaign is a great way to kickstart change through employer-focused messaging and tools for mental health within the workforce, and something we hope to see more companies within the industry join in on.
- TechRaptor's focus on positive and uplifting internal culture will only be amplified in working with Safe in Our World to provide more resources and support to TechRaptor team members.
How we plan to contribute:
As a company, TechRaptor will be making a monthly donation alongside regular efforts in fundraising and content focused on Mental Health and mental health advocacy. We’ll also be joining Safe In Our World’s LevelUp program in order to offer more resources and support to all of our team members.
As an outlet, TechRaptor has a voice. With millions of readers, it’s our responsibility to do more with that voice. Starting with this first step in supporting Safe in Our World and Mental Health advocacy, we hope that we can make an impact in others’ lives. Join us.
If you’d like to support Safe in Our World through our fundraising, you can visit our Tiltify page here to donate for Mental Health Awareness Month.