How Can Play and the Roblox Community Help Your Mental Well-Being?
Community Digital Well-Being
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we wanted to share some thoughts from the community to highlight the importance of mental health and stop the stigma associated with it. During the pandemic, this topic has become more crucial than ever with people isolated from their friends and family, their routines changed, and anxiety and pressure growing.
In the past few months, we’ve heard many powerful stories of how Roblox has served to be a central lifeline to our community’s mental well-being. Many have found that by creating experiences, they are able to express themselves and release anxiety and feelings that they find difficult expressing verbally.
Take Ashley who went through different identity phases and says, “I can be accepted for who I am [on Roblox], which is truly empowering.” Quazar, who created the beautiful world of Vision Park and built deep connections with the community, said he now wants to help those who “feel outcasted” by providing them with “a colorful world to escape to.” He says he’s “able to reach more people than he could ever have thought possible.”
Then there is Luke who recently turned 12 but has already become one of the Global Gaming Citizens honored last year at The Game Awards for his Roblox game Let’s Be Well. He created his game following his father’s suicide as a way to de-stigmatize depression, and the game has impacted many of his peers in a positive way.
When I shared Luke’s story on my social channels, the reactions were truly heartwarming and genuine. One of our community members, @XJenny_Beanx, shared how the Roblox community helped her:
Many, MANY Roblox Developers on the platform have, or have had struggles in their personal health, and Roblox has managed to become a healing platform. It’s extremely comforting when you create something, and even more comforting when others give feedback/enjoy that creation. Because of Roblox I’ve managed to build the confidence to change my life for the better. It has connected me with so many new friends, has given me the confidence I needed, and has presented so many business opportunities that I have *options* in my future. If I could give Roblox as a whole a hug, I would.
I asked Jenny to share some advice with Roblox users, as well as kids and teens outside of the platform who might be looking for emotional and community support. How can they use play, online relationships, and creative opportunities to better their mental well-being? Here are the six things she says you can do to help yourself, or others:
- Find a hobby that fascinates you. For me, this was building on Roblox. I’ve always been fascinated with creating environments. Perhaps there is something you’ve wanted to get into or something you’ve always wanted to explore? On Roblox, you can try UI/GFX art, clothing design, scripting/programming, concept art, and more. This can help you not only express yourself creatively (which can be a way to cope with emotions) but can also help you find a community and stick with it.
- Get involved in a community. Find a community/genre that you enjoy. Whether it be a STARS program community, a game community, or a genre/group, there are a lot of them on Roblox! The key is finding one (or more) that you relate to the most and sticking with it. One of the benefits of getting involved with a community can help you unlock a fascinating hobby or passion. For example, let’s say you join a dance group. Perhaps you find that this is an interesting field to explore online and want to begin pursuing that in real life as well! I know some people who are involved in government groups on Roblox, and from that experience, have ended up pursuing a career in law! Roblox can be a great place to get a head start and help you find your passion(s) in life.
- Once you find a community, start chatting with a lot of people and making lots of friends and acquaintances. These people can help you through a lot, and if you become good friends with some, they can be there for you in times of distress. Make sure you ask the other person if it’s okay to “spill the beans” and talk about what’s going on in your head before doing so. While most/all people want to be there for one another, sometimes, the other person is going through a rough time too and is not in a good place to speak with you about what’s going on, which is okay! We’re all going through life in one way or another. If this is the case, try reaching out to some other friends, and especially your family and/or parental figures. Whatever you are comfortable with.
- Explore! Exploring Roblox is a really cool thing to do since all of its content is generated by the imagination of others. The more you explore, the more you can find, and the more you can experience.
- Keep an eye out for each other. If someone seems upset/lonely, approach them, and see what you can do to make that person’s day. You have the power to help and make a difference.
- Lastly, but most importantly—off Roblox, I must say that therapy is an extremely helpful and great way to get the help and/or comfort you need. You can get professional advice from people that went to school to help you through life’s toughest moments. There can be so many contributions to someone’s mental state that it is impossible to focus on and cover them all in just a few steps. If you have the option to go and seek help professionally, go and seek help.
I couldn’t have said it better—Jenny’s advice is spot on! At Roblox, we believe in the power of play, and now more than ever we all need some escapism and fun. At this difficult time where we may not be able to physically hang out with our friends, online games can offer us the community we are missing in the physical world.
Sometimes we all need a little extra support, and it can take many forms. It could be people sharing their own experiences that makes you feel less alone, or their advice on what helped them. It could just be that you need a virtual hug and a laugh with friends. It may be that getting lost in creating a project, building a game, or making something beautiful works best for you. The most important thing is to start somewhere. This Mental Health Awareness month, think about what makes you feel better. If you need to talk, reach out—it’s okay to not be okay. And if you think someone else is struggling, ask if they need help. It can really make a difference.