Hi! I’m Andrea, video game enthusiast, nerd, and psychologist. I’ll be taking care of the mental health terrain of Altair. I am here to contribute to providing a platform that cares for people. To bring awareness, and empathetic plans and structures to the needs of our communities. While I love what I am currently doing here, there is something even bigger that I’d like to share with all of you, my glorious purpose.
In today’s society, there are a number of issues that are being normalized. There are behaviors that motivate our anxiety and destabilize our mental well-being. We suffer a lot of devaluation when we hear the all too common phrase, “It’s just the way it is."
Hostile work environments, homophobia, racism, sexism, sexual harassment, etc., just to name a few examples. In reality, it could be one or more of these situations. This is what I want to talk about. This is what I want to fight against. This is what I believe to be our real, general purpose.
I want to bring awareness to the ones that aren’t educated within these matters and I want to speak out against the ones that normalize and standardize these toxic and unjust environments. I want to set an example here at Altair. I want people to know that they, themselves have value as well as their opinions and their needs in whatever role they take, no matter what. I want people to realize that the system we live in today is not something to normalize and that we can start to change things.
There’s so much I’d like to illustrate for you about my current and planned future work but I’m going to start with three main points for what I’d like to accomplish.
- Mental health awareness
- Lower anxiety and stress levels
- A healthy community environment
Mental Health Awareness
A lot of us suffer from different mental health issues, and it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. We all have our different journeys through life and these different, life-changing experiences that affect us in a myriad of ways. The more we understand those issues, the less afraid and ashamed we become and the more likely we are to identify and take control of our actions.
I’ll give you an example.
People with depression are often judged by others. People repeatedly give the common misconception a “lazy, selfish person,” thus causing the depressed to mirror the judgement towards themselves. Aside from self and external judgement, consequences can go even further creating behavioral patterns that involve acting out within these beliefs: “If I am not good enough, I could never keep or prevail in my job.” When this message is directed towards a person for so long—on an unconscious level—it causes instability, apathy, and demotivation towards work in addition to fear and insecurity of their own capabilities.
If this person knew that depression was diagnosed with symptoms such as loss of pleasure in most or all activities, irritability, fatigue and/or sleeping disorders, loss of energy, etc., they’d be more aware that their situation needs treatment.
If their external environment also knew a little more about depression, there wouldn’t be all this judgement. In fact, there would be encouragement to seek professional help. Both parties would know exactly what depression entails and what they could do to better the situation. They’d know that the best option is psychological help amongst possible other ways of support.
The best way to hold up in this area is through empathy. First, awareness. Educate people on mental health. Gather information about what a streamer’s day-to-day struggles are and start from there. Then, motivation. Prompt those who have been affected with the courage to get through it. Propose ideas and activities that could better the status of everyone’s mental health. Support them with motivational reinforcement.
By the way, there’s a little extra type of therapy I’d love to eventually encourage within the platform. It’s something akin to group therapy. Not necessarily group therapy as a whole, just very similar. When people talk about their experiences with mental disorders, traumatic experiences, health issues, etc, this motivates others to speak up about their similar experiences, which makes them feel less alone and/or judged.
This is something I’d love to see and actively motivate our communities to do.
Lower Anxiety and Stress Levels
I believe the key here is providing a platform that will build in tools and structures that could lower overall stress and anxiety. The more we learn about anxiety and stress as a platform and the specific effects it has on our creators, the more effective those tools and structures will become.
I do want to clarify, anxiety is something that we’re going to live with for the rest of our lives. Take it as a reminder that you are sane and not a sociopathic, psychopathic person. 😋
It’s probable a lot of you have come across information about sociopaths and psychopaths with regards to lacking guilt and remorse. This means they do not carry any anxiety, leading them to exercise behaviors that endanger themselves and others. Now, for most of us, this is what keeps us safe from endangering situations. It is a psychological response that serves to defend us from danger.
That being said, there are definitely people who develop more extreme anxiety. This is when it becomes problematic and probably will require treatment. What I would do to help is, explain why it's increasing in severity and work on ways to lower their anxiety and stress when on the platform.
Remember, we’re all different. Anxiety can be expressed in many different ways. If you are going through this, I’d like to recommend you to seek professional help to assist with your individual and personalized needs. To assist with that, we're planning to add resources on the platform that educate you about anxiety so that it may help you understand it a little more. All of these resources will be thoroughly researched, and tuned to the needs of our creators.
Also, while there are different and very particular stimuli playing a role in stress such as metrics, income, injustice, external toxic behavior, gaslighting, etc.—know that we are listening.
As an aside, one of my biggest goals is to encourage mental health professionals to use their own channels via Altair to help out creators their communities. I have to emphasize that this will never be a proper substitute for a one-on-one psychotherapy session, but I do believe it’ll be of great benefit to everyone.
A Healthy Community Environment
This is my ultimate goal. I’ve already gone through many of the steps I want to take to create a healthy, happy environment for our communities but I’ll elaborate on this topic by doing a summary of everything that’s been already mentioned.
- First, I’d like to not only express empathy via the team at Altair, but also evangelize communities, by creating spaces for awareness about many draining disorders, psychological symptoms, facts, etc.
- Second, cheer—yet not push—communities to talk about and share experiences that inspire others to do so—creating empathy and understanding amongst our communities.
- Next, motivate mental health professionals to join the platform, to bring a live consciousness about mental health issues and ways to make individuals' situations better.
- Finally, get rid of negative, normalized, toxic stimuli other portals have generally used for years. Numbers, numbers, numbers. This will no longer be relevant. We will truly value each user for what they are and for each individual talent.
I truly believe Altair exists to bring bigger change. To hopefully and eventually set an example for other organizations. I can’t emphasize enough how passionate this makes me feel. Knowing that we work every day to change our industry for the better, and have people realize that they could have a safer space to work in, to relax in, to invest their time in.