VA National Mental Health Recovery & Wellness Webinar Series

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VA National Mental Health Recovery & Wellness Webinar Series

Video Games and Gaming Communities in Mental Health Recovery

Michelle Carras, Ph.D.

Associate Global mHealth Initiative, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, MD

Mathew Bergendahl, MS, NCC, LPC

Director of Suicide Prevention
Stack Up, a 501c(3) Military Charity
Sylmar, CA

March 9, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm ET

Program Description:

Mental and behavioral health recovery includes concepts related not just to symptom improvement, but also to participating in activities that contribute to wellness and a meaningful life. Video game play can relieve stress and provide a way to connect, which may be especially important for military veterans. Two studies showing the benefits and challenges Veterans and Service Members experience by using videogames and gaming communities to address mental health problems and support good mental health with be discussed. Also information that shows Veterans use video games to manage moods and stress, but also that games and gaming communities help with other aspects of recovery, specifically adaptive coping (e.g. distraction, control, symptom substitution); eudaimonic well-being (confidence, insight, role functioning); and socializing (participation, support, brotherhood). At times, excessive use of games can lead to life problems or feeling addicted, but for some Veterans, the tradeoff seems worth it. Overall, video games seem to provide some Veterans with a potent form of “personal medicine” that can promote recovery. Although reasons and results of gaming may vary within and among individuals, clinicians may wish to discuss video game play with their patients to help patients optimize their use of games to support recovery. This training applies to healthcare team members.

Program Information:

Location: Adobe Connect via registering in TMS

                 Audio through VANTS, dial 1(800) 767-1750, then 04927#

Continued Education Units:

CEU Continuing Education Units

Credits/hours: 1.0 credit hours


Registration: Video Games and Gaming Communities in Mental Health Recovery