t/f Analysis: Hero Journey Club Is Elevating Gamers’ Mental Wellbeing

Sophia Rodriguez

Gamer-Centric Mental Health Support Group Leaves the Therapy Label Behind

A group offering mental health support for gamers, Hero Journey Club, has been advertising its services on social media. The club invites individuals to join group sessions for help with issues like loneliness, depression, and anxiety while gaming. It specifically appeals to those who already find comfort in video games. However, it’s important to note that Hero Journey Club does not provide licensed therapy services and participants cannot receive diagnosis or treatment through the program. The Journey Guides who lead sessions are qualified in mental health services, but the club itself is not a licensed healthcare facility. However, the service is led by individuals with at least a master’s degree from accredited programs in mental health counseling. They also must have a passion for gaming, in addition to the necessary credentials.

What’s Happening & Why This Matters

The sessions are held on Discord each week. Users are placed in groups of up to five people with whom they are matched based on shared information during registration. These groups are assigned their private Discord server, where they may also stream gameplay. Subscriptions cost $30 per week per user. The appeal of the program is enhanced by games like Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing, which are cherished for their comforting and friendly atmosphere.

HJC allows gamers to seek help in way that connects with them. IMAGE: Hero Journey Club

The founder, Brian Chhor, launched Hero Journey Club to provide mental health support in ways that are not necessarily tied to traditional therapy. The high cost of therapy and difficulty finding suitable practitioners can make therapeutic treatment inaccessible, especially for marginalized communities. However, the group also aims to provide a space for individuals to enhance interpersonal skills and adapt to stressors.

Though the club has experienced some difficulties in its execution, the co-founders note that the privacy of participants is a top priority. They are currently working to streamline the privacy policy to resolve any lingering concerns. Some early participants have reported that they felt the program was disorganized, or even that the sessions did not live up to expectations. Feedback from participants has sought changes to the way sessions are facilitated in order to give individuals more ability to form social connections.

t/f Summary: What’s Next

The effectiveness of gaming as part of mental health treatment has recently garnered support. Several studies have suggested that video games may help reduce stress and anxiety. According to Chhor and Chief Clinical Officer Derrick Hull, the game is intended to facilitate an environment where people feel supported. Hero Journey Club is particularly committed to diversifying its guides and is attentive to the needs of its user base, which is mainly comprised of neurodivergent individuals, the queer community, and people of color.

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By Sophia Rodriguez “TF Eco-Tech”
Sophia Rodriguez is the eco-tech enthusiast of the group. With her academic background in Environmental Science, coupled with a career pivot into sustainable technology, Sophia has dedicated her life to advocating for and reviewing green tech solutions. She is passionate about how technology can be leveraged to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly world and often speaks at conferences and panels on this topic.
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