The UK Esports Team Committee (UKETC), a collective of UK-based esports teams, has announced a collaboration involving psychological first aiders.
The UKETC was formed in 2021 with the aim of progressing and growing the UK esports industry, and representing the voice of teams within wider industry discussions.
Now it’s backed a Movember-funded mental health initiative, co-created alongside gaming not-for-profit Play Aid, which will see the esports teams have physical first aiders.
Fnatic, Resolve Esports, MNM Gaming, Excel Esports, Vexed Gaming, Endpoint, Method, and Manchester City Esports have psychological first aiders trained within their teams.
They all ‘commit to encouraging other esports organisations – of all levels – to take Play Aid’s free psychological first aid course’, as part of the Gamers vs. Depression programme with Movember.
Play Aid is a mental health non-profit dedicated to promoting wellbeing in the gaming community, and is supported by Movember, the global charity committed to changing the face of men’s health.
With Movember’s funding, Play Aid is providing free Psychological First Aid training for the gaming community. The training will equip team members with the skills and knowledge to support players who may be experiencing a psychological crisis.
Mental health in esports has been an ongoing topic over the years. The competitive nature of esports can of course cause stress, anxiety and burnout, among other psychological issues.
The benefits of psychological first aiders in esports
‘By having a psychological first aider within every team, players can receive immediate support and guidance during a crisis, helping them to navigate their emotions and build resilience,’ the UKETC said in a press release.
“The scale and influence of esports means that it will play an important part in Movember’s mission,” said Dan Cooper, Director of Innovation at Movember. “By working closely with esports teams and engaging with the community we can highlight the importance of mental health, self-care and social connections – and to continue to inspire men to take action when it comes to their mental and physical health.”
“We are thrilled to partner with teams within the UKETC to promote the importance of psychological first aid in esports teams”, said Dr John Mills, Play Aid’s Managing Director. “By providing free Psychological First Aid training, we hope to empower esports teams across the world to better support their players’ mental health and wellbeing.”
“We’re delighted to support Play Aid in their mission to promote mental health and wellbeing in the gaming and esports communities,” said Jeff Simpkins, Vice Chair of the UKETC.
“We believe that every esports team should have access to psychological first aid and we hope that this collaboration will help to encourage other teams in the space to take the mental health of their staff and athletes seriously.”
Earlier this year, the UKETC announced changes to its structure and organisation, including new leadership.
There’s more info on the UKETC website
Dom is an award-winning writer and finalist of the Esports Journalist of the Year 2023 award. He graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Federation up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and offer esports consultancy and freelance services. Note: Dom still produces the British Esports newsletter on a freelance basis, so our coverage of British Esports is always kept simple – usually just covering the occasional press release – because of this conflict of interest.