ReachOut Australia will offer a chillout space at the next AVCon gaming convention in Adelaide to provide gaming enthusiasts with the space to take a break and connect with new mental health and wellbeing technologies.
The space, to be known as the ‘ReachOut Room’ will be run in partnership with mental health and gaming consultancy CheckPoint with the support of AVCon convention organisers. Available throughout AvCon (16–17 July in Adelaide), the room will have a range of activities designed to help visitors relax and learn about mental health resources via iPads loaded with ReachOut apps, games and online tools, as well as a range of non-digital mindfulness activities.
The ReachOut Room will be staffed by Checkpoint in addition to volunteers from the ReachOut Youth Ambassador and AVCon gaming communities, and will be a quiet space free from photography and the hustle of the convention.
ReachOut CEO Jono Nicholas says, ‘Gaming is a huge and positive part of many young people’s lives and, like in many other spaces, mental health can be tough to talk about in the gaming community. Reaching out to young people where they are is incredibly important to us, which is why we’ll be at AVCon and similar conventions in future.’
CheckPoint’s Jennifer Hazel, a medical doctor specialising in psychiatry who has seen the model run at conventions in the United States, says, ‘Conventions can get hectic so we know from experience how valuable a space like the ReachOut Room can be. We’re delighted to have AVCon’s support to extend the model to even more young people at their event in July.’
On 17 July at AVCon, ReachOut and CheckPoint will also present a panel discussion about the relationship between mental health and technology, and the kinds of health and wellbeing resources that are available to help navigate technology, social media and games.
The ReachOut Room will be open from 10 am until 6 pm during AVCon Adelaide on 16–17 July.