Published on
23 April 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week (10th - 16th May) is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health.

At Barnardo’s, we believe that talking about mental health and the things in our daily lives that can affect it is really important, and we want to help kick-start those conversations. In this blog, we discuss the benefits that gaming and streaming can have on people’s mental health, and talk a little bit about our exciting Ready Player B campaign. 

A young girl smiling and looking at her laptop

In 2020, research conducted by the University of Oxford found that playing video games may improve your mental health and make you happier. Whilst excessive gaming can certainly be harmful, we wanted to shine a light on the benefits that gaming, and streaming, can have on people’s mental health and wellbeing... 

Video games lead to healthy brain stimulation 

In other words, playing video games forces gamers to deeply stimulate multiple different areas of his or her brain, which leads to the development of a large handful of various beneficial tasks and dimensions of thinking. 

Playing video games can help relieve stress

We all enjoy different ways of winding down, and, for many people, immersing themselves in a game is a great way of coping with, and gaining some perspective on, the stresses of daily life. 

Gaming and streaming are effective ways to combat loneliness

The rise of streaming platforms and multi-player experiences online has given way to a new form of socialising, in which players work together to solve problems.  This can help people overcome feelings of loneliness and feel part of a genuinely supportive community. 

Video games can help people develop coping mechanisms for difficult situations

Learning ways to overcome in-game challenges can make gamers better equipped to deal with real-life obstacles and difficulties. 

Gaming and streaming are great ways for people to express their true selves

Online streaming platforms can be a safe space for streamers and gamers to share who they really are, in a supportive, tight-knit environment. 

Like all things it's about moderation. Excessive gaming can take a toll on your mental and physical health just like how too much running can lead to joint problems and impact injuries. Done in moderation it is something that can still be beneficial for you and can do great things for your mental wellbeing. Got questions about gaming and why we're promoting it? Check out our FAQs

Learn more about how we use use a game called Pesky gNATs as part of ongoing programme of blended approaches to tackling poor mental health. 

If you want to help us make sure no child is left to face mental health problems alone, you can become Player B.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Find out more

  • Game for good

    Host a charity live stream for young people’s mental health

  • Get help

    Where to get support for yourself or someone else

  • Support our work

    Your donation will help us reach more young people