Cloud9 is looking to support mental health awareness through a new partnership with health care company Kaiser Permanente and a gaming-focused initiative called “Presence of Mind,” the organization announced today.
The goal of the initiative is to team mental health experts with esports athletes to spread awareness to young people about the importance of mental health through content and training.
“Partnering with Kaiser Permanente allows us to shine a spotlight on the importance of mental health and wellness in our community, and to set an example for everyone in our industry,” C9 CEO Jack Etienne said. “Gaming and esports is a refuge for so many during this pandemic, and we want our fans and our players at their healthiest, both mentally and physically.”
Among other things, Kaiser will give training to C9 players and staff. C9 will also help develop a series of Twitch content aimed at showing what life is like for pro gamers.
Along with the content and training, the parties will do research throughout their partnership with guidance from an advisory council.
By working with one another, the two companies are looking to reduce some of the stigmas attached to mental health in the gaming community that can at times be “toxic.”
“Our goal is that Presence of Mind will contribute to a public health movement within esports by engaging teens, young adults, and other gamers in mental health conversations,” said Don Mordecai, Kaiser Permanente’s national leader for mental health. “The need is even more critical in this period of stress and physical isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the esports community, with Cloud9 leading the way, can support each other’s mental health while also supporting their own well-being and resilience now and long into the future.”
C9’s League of Legends team will be the first of the organization’s squads to get involved. While there’s no timeline for when any sort of Twitch-related content might come out, fans may get to see something before the end of the month.