This month, from 16th – 17th July, Adelaide held it’s annual Anime and Video Game Convention. In collaboration with ReachOut Australia, CheckPoint offered a chillout space called the ReachOut Room for AVCon’s attendees.
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.’
The goals of the ReachOut Room were threefold:
– Provide attendees with opportunities for positive social interaction.
– Connect attendees with useful mental health and wellbeing resources, passively through handouts and interactively through activities.
– Help attendees to chill out in a space away from the bustle and interaction of the convention.
CheckPoint’s Founder 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.’
The ReachOut Room was a great success, with a large number of visitors using the room for varying lengths of time, some just for a five-minute breather, some for over an hour! Volunteers from CheckPoint along with Youth Ambassadors from ReachOut, connected people with some great health and wellbeing tech, gave them a space to chill out on some really comfortable beanbags, and engaged in some really great chats along the way.
CheckPoint is very proud and privileged to work alongside ReachOut Australia to bring initiatives such as the ReachOut Room to conferences and conventions across Australia. We welcome any enquiries from conference and convention organisers if you would like to see a similar space at your event.