Never Give In: Artist Exclusive With Callum Mackie

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15-year-old Callum shares how gaming has been a great way to make new friends and reduce stress.

This article is part of the Never Give In campaign, where 21 young Cardiffians were commissioned to create a piece of art showing how gaming affects their mental health. This is the story of Callum, a 15-year-old artist who was part of the project.

How has gaming affected your mental health? 

Gaming makes my mind more active and helps me concentrate more by distracting myself and having something to do. I mostly play games that have lots of side-quests because then it will take me longer and I can take my time whilst trying to complete the game.  

Games help me to socialise with my friends more and find new ways to speak to people. I can play them on my own to pass time or I can play them with friends if I’m feeling lonely or if I just want to play with them. It’s also been a way I can spend more time with my family.  

It’s a way for me to be more creative and more commutative than how I usually am. Gaming has just been a good way for me to escape any problems I have had and to just have fun and relax by myself or with anyone of my choice. 

What inspired you to create this artwork?

What inspired me to create the artwork was my interest in gaming and art. Both have helped me through any rough points in my life as they have just distracted me and taken me away from my problems.

Gaming has always been with me; it’s been a hobby and it was also a way I could speak to my friends outside of school. I could play games where whatever I did affect the gameplay, creating endless possibilities which I always found entertaining.

I would always use games to get away from any stress. Art has helped me with mental health as it was a way I could relax from stress and just focus on creating something that could help express how I felt. It was my main way of saying “ this is how I feel” and most of the time it would help me and other people understand how I felt.

What message would you give to someone who is struggling with their mental health?

I would tell someone that they don’t have to go through this alone. There are loads of people who go through the same thing as you, so just try to speak to someone you trust like an adult, a friend, even a teacher, so you don’t have to struggle alone. There are people who will be by your side to help you cope and to help you get through the rough patch you are in.

To find out more about the Never Give In campaign and see the incredible artwork from all of the other artists, click HERE.

Struggling with your mental health? Check out TheSprout’s Mental Health Information Page where you can find loads of local and national support services.

If you’re sharing our posts from the Never Give In campaign on social media, remember to use the #PositiveMentalGaming hashtag. Feel free to tag us so we can see what you’re sharing!

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