In honor of May as Mental Health Awareness Month, Twitch encouraged its streaming community to get involved. And streamers did.
In a blog post calling its users to action, Twitch suggested several ways broadcasters could highlight mental health resources, including “chatting with your community about mental health” and including hotline numbers at the bottoms of their screens while streaming. Twitch specifically mentioned organizations like Crisis Text Line, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
At the time of this writing, Twitch streamer LeClumsyFox was hosting a stream in which she invited viewers to ask questions and otherwise chat about mental health. The chat box filled up with people divulging personal stories about funerals they’ve attended and methods they’ve used to cope with anxiety.
“My little sister has autism. She is literally the happiest person I know,” wrote one viewer. Another left the stream because it was getting “a bit too real.” About 65 were watching when I tuned in. LeClumsyFox, who has over 20,800 followers on Twitch, announced on Twitter that she’d be playing games “about depression and loss” earlier today.
Twitch is celebrating mental health awareness month be that any kind of illness or bullying that leads to suicide,so during this month everyday when I end my stream I’m going to host a random streamer and put a smile in his/her face,so please join me everyday for the raid #twitch
— GamingJunkie505[DGZ] (@GamingJunkie505) May 2, 2018
On May 1, Twitch streamer PersonSuit hosted an over 12-hour stream to raise funds for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, according to their Twitter. Another said their streams this month would help raise money for Anxiety Gaming, a non-profit that offers free mental health services to gamers from all over the world. And on Thursday, May 10, broadcaster jedi_jeks says he will host a stream on Twitch featuring interviews centered on “healing and wellness activities.” Some of these streamers have a small reach, with just around 100 followers, but their cumulative viewer numbers aren’t insignificant.
May has been Mental Health Awareness Month in the US since 1949. To see all of the other resources Twitch listed for its users to share, check out the company’s blog post.