Supporting veterans through gaming

06 March 2024

Online gaming is proving to be a lifeline for veterans experiencing the mental health impacts of military service.

Transitioning out of the Defence Force may leave some veterans feeling excluded from society, leading to a potential rise in anxiety, depression and adjustment disorder.  

Facing these mental health concerns without support can then exacerbate symptoms over time, and people may increasingly isolate from others to avoid the anxiety of attending in person group activities.   

The benefits of online gaming 

Online social spaces created by gaming communities can offer veterans the mental health benefits of social connection in a less intimidating setting by removing the formality and stress that may come with accessing clinical services. 

Training within the Defence Force encourages members to continue functioning despite stress, fear and physical pain. Veterans may find they don’t have the language to speak up and ask for support, or even know who to ask for help in beginning their recovery process. 

Gaming communities may provide veterans with a safe space to de-stress, speak openly about their concerns and find supportive connections without thinking about the Defence Force-related stigma surrounding mental health. 

Support at Mates4Mates

As part of their regular social connection opportunities, Mates4Mates partnered with Veteran Gaming Australia to host a Gaming Expo in Brisbane, helping veterans and their families find connection through gaming. 

With over 100 veterans and family members experienced a range of vendors and activities including VR, Dungeons & Dragons games, tabletop wargaming, Gundam workshop and miniature painting sessions, board games, 3D printing, and more. 

Mates4Mates social connection activities play a key role in helping local veterans and family members find mateship and support within the community, which can be an important part of wellbeing and recovery. 

Online gaming as a form of social connection can increase feelings of self-worth and belonging by sharing common interests but also experiences. 

Engaging in activities like gaming that are extremely popular with the younger generation also offers veterans the chance to interact with their children in a meaningful way, connecting with their family from the comfort of their own home. 

For more social connection activities around South East Queensland, North Queensland, Northern Territory and Tasmania, visit the Events page.

To find out more about how Mates4Mates can support you, reach out on 1300 4 MATES (62 837) for a confidential chat. 

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