The discussion surrounding mental health can be invisible. It’s one of the least-understood public health concerns, despite how common mental health problems can be in the population. This lack of open conversation creates an atmosphere in which mental health issues and the people who live with them are stigmatized and made to feel like outsiders, unable to address their concerns with family, friends and coworkers for fear of being ostracized or misunderstood.
Representation is the key to kickstarting discussion, and video games have taken a woefully one-dimensional approach in the mental health conversation. While there’s no shortage of mental health-related content in today’s games, it falls into one of two specific camps, neither of which confront the complex and nuanced issues with the empathy and consideration they deserve.