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Mental health non-profit organisation Checkpoint have recently released their new fundraising initiative that goes by the, admittedly lovely, name of The Coping Companion.

For those who aren’t familiar with Checkpoint, it is an organisation based in Australia and New Zealand centred around providing mental health resources for gamers. The company is run by a team of game industry and mental health professionals who have worked in conjunction to create this product. Their aim is to connect mental health resources with video games and technology and provide relevant information that can be implemented into everyday life. 

The Coping Companion contains a deck of 55 illustrated cards and is described as a “personalised wellbeing assistant” which is flexible to each persons needs. There are five different sets of cards available for purchase and each covers a different issue surrounding mental health. Everyday Basics, Grounding and Mindfulness, Mindful Mantras, Thought Exercises and Problem Solving are all of the decks currently available.

Each unique tip has been taken from a number of different psychological techniques, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Behavioural Activation and more. There is also a handy guide book that will expand upon the exercises if more information and help is needed.

Not only is this a very positive coping mechanism it’s also extremely discreet. For those out there who aren’t as comfortable talking about their own struggles and who may not have resources readily available, these cards are a great way to get through moments in the day when things get a little too heavy. Director and Co-Founder of Checkpoint, Dr Jennifer Hazel is excited about what this deck will mean for those people, saying that they can be even turned into a “motivational gaming experience” that can be easily personalised. 

Checkpoint had a number of artists contribute to this project, a lot of whom connected each piece of work to their own journey with mental health and self care. The team behind The Gardens Between also collaborated on creating illustrations for these cards as well, which was an incredible privilege for the company. 

Artwork from the Game “The Gardens Between”

“A lot of my friends and I struggle with mental health. Working on this submission made me realise that I want to make art that can help other people find strength or comfort.” contributing artist Diana Nguyen said when asked about the project. It’s safe to say it has become quite a personal effort for everyone involved. 

Companies such as Checkpoint are a great example of how the gaming industry can genuinely benefit people’s mental health in a positive way and they’re not the only ones out there. Other organisations such as Special Effect strive to make gaming more inclusive by using modified and accessible technology for people with physical disabilities. It’s really great to see!

The Coping Companion is currently available for purchase on Checkpoint’s website for $29.99AUD. If you would like further information on the organisation they are also active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 

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