It’s Children’s Mental Health Week, and in support of this year’s event NOS have produced a #WakeUpWednesday guide which outlines how youngsters’ mental wellbeing can by boosted by an (arguably) unexpected source: video games. Many children view gaming in the same way that they regard reading a book or watching a movie: a way to relax and unwind.
Gaming not only helps young people to de-stress and gives them a valuable sense of satisfaction when they succeed in the game – it can also develop their essential life skills (such as problem solving, co-operation and social interaction) without young gamers even realising that they’re learning things. Check out this week’s guide for a more detailed run-down.
The potential negative effects of gaming on young people’s mental health (when the compulsion to play begins to interfere with regular activities like homework, exercise or socialising) are well documented. In recent years however, there’s been a groundswell of research making a contrasting point – that safe, healthy amounts of gaming can actually help to improve mental wellbeing.
One of the most prominent studies was carried out by Oxford University in 2021, which found that moderate amounts of time playing family-friendly games led to respondents reporting an improved sense of mental wellbeing. Our guide has ten tips for trusted adults on how safe, healthy gaming can offer more than just an enjoyable leisure activity for children.