We’ve all been here, a few bad games, feeling tilted, frustrated, but is there something more going on? (Getting killed, conceding goals etc. Chat frustration).
You may have noticed a recent change in your teammate’s behaviour, a friend acting uncharacteristically while playing, something they’ve said, or done, that’s caused you to become concerned for their wellbeing.
By learning how to Spot the Signs of a struggling comrade, you can begin to effectively support your friends both on and off the virtual field of play.
Everyone experiences mental health issues differently, but there are some key indicators that someone might be in distress, and potentially approaching a crisis.
Has their mood changed? Are they behaving differently? Has the vocal, energetic shot caller of the team become avoidant and withdrawn? Or has the coolheaded clutch master, become erratic and aggressive?
These drastic changes in your teammate’s personality could indicate that something is wrong. So, how do you go about supporting your friends in their time of need?
You can reach out to them, with the help of ALEC:
Start by Asking how he’s feeling, avoid intrusive questions, and pay attention to their response by:
Listening to them, empathise, and seek understanding of what he is going through, appreciate that it’s extremely difficult to talk about one’s mental wellbeing, and reassure them that opening a line of communication is a positive step. Don’t feel pressured to find answers or solve the issue, instead,
Encourage Action: help him to focus on the simple things that could improve how he feels, and conclude the conversation by providing information on sources of mental health support.
Finally, remember to Check-in, follow up after your chat. This will let him know that you’re available to speak again about sensitive matters.
Being a point of contact for conversations about mental health can be very rewarding, but could also be emotionally overwhelming, be conscious of your own wellbeing and make sure you also have an appropriate support system in place.