When 12-year-old Eleri games, she feels like she is transported into an alternate universe where all her worries disappear.
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 Eleri, a 12-year-old artist who was part of the project.
How has gaming affected your mental health?
When I am playing a game, I feel like all my problems disappear. All my thoughts and worries are gone. I get to just relax, no matter the game. Gaming also helps me focus on every little moment. When I play a game, I feel like I am transported into an alternate universe where all my worries disappear.
My mental health really improves when I play games, especially when I am completely focused. I’m not worried about school or homework – all those thoughts skip my mind. All of us get worried about our homework and school but games really distract me and give me the chance to focus and relax.
Gaming also has helped me make friends and improve my teamwork skills with other players or users, which in general helps me with my mental health and my social skills.
What inspired you to create this artwork?
Gaming is something I do daily and I feel that many other people could relate to my artwork.
Usually, I will come back from school and play with my best friend on multiple different games like Roblox, Fortnite, and Minecraft, all of which are amazing. My sister and I play Fortnite together daily and try to improve our skill levels.
My artwork is an image of my iPad which I play games on, which has two people at the front. Those two people are me and my best friend. But they’re in the shape of Roblox characters/avatars. In the piece, we are holding hands and are surrounded by positive things that gaming does to improve our mental health. For example, gaming helps to build confidence, be brave, and help us to work as a team, like in Fortnite where you work in a team to defeat everyone else.
What message would you give to someone who is struggling with their mental health?
To someone who is struggling with their mental health, I would tell them to find something which could take their mind off it. A time to relax – no stress and no worries. They could do some art in a quiet space, play games, or go to some kind of club or sport. A place where they can rest not needing to worry about anything at all.
I would also tell them that they’re not alone and many other people struggle with their mental health and that I’m there for them.
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!