In recognition of Men’s Health Week this week (10th to 16th June), National Youth Mental Health Foundation, headspace, has engaged one of Australia’s leading professional esports players, Brandon Holland to help educate young men on how to maintain a healthy headspace.
headspace often asks professional athletes to help emphasise the importance of looking after their mental health as well as their physical health. With the increasing popularity of video gaming amongst young men, headspace is highlighting ways to maintain a healthy balance of physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing whilst pursuing the hobbies or career they love.
Brandon Holland says, “A passion for gaming doesn’t have to be at the exclusion of all other pastimes, interests and relationships. Professional gamers take their combined physical and mental wellbeing just as seriously as professional athletes. Like any hobby or interest, gaming should be treated as just one element of a balanced lifestyle.”
“In order to sustain the mental alertness required to master the complex strategies behind many video games, it is critical for me to look after my physical and mental health. I prioritise sleep, exercise, healthy eating and positive relationships with family and friends in order to not only do my job, but enjoy a well-balanced, happy, healthy lifestyle and state-of-mind,” continues Brandon.
headspace Senior Clinical Advisor, Simon Dodd says, “Games are an integral part of human behaviour and it is very normal for young people to engage in gaming as a part of their everyday lives. Gaming provides connectedness to others, which enables young people to feel a sense of social inclusion. At healthy levels, it can increase self-esteem and social acceptance. It can also provide an opportunity for a structured daily routine and is a viable form of leisure activity.
“Unfortunately our research shows that young men are not seeking help to manage their mental health. With the help of Brandon, we want to encourage all young men to follow some of our seven healthy headspace tips, as a means of ensuring a balanced lifestyle and positive headspace,” says Mr Dodd.
Recent headspace research of 18- 25 year old men across Australia shows that:
- Nearly a third (31%) of 18-25 year old young men report high or very high levels of psychological distress; and
- 35% of these young men have never sought support from a mental health professional.
- One in seven young men aged between 16 and 24 experience depression or anxiety each year, yet a meagre 13% seek help.
For the seven tips for a healthy headspace please go to www.headspace.org.au/headcoach