NHS is raising mental health awareness through Football Manager

NHS is raising mental health awareness through Football Manager

Sports Interactive's Football Manager 2018 has a brand new advertiser in-game - the NHS.

As reported by the BBC, consumers playing in the Leeds area are being shown pitch-side marketing for MindMate. This is a mental health site run by the NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group. Clicking on these adverts takes users through to the above website.

The site provides support for young people having problems with mental health and provides a valuable resource for people with these kinds of issues.

Mental health is becoming a subject the games industry is engaging with much more. Last year's Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice from Cambridge-based Ninja Theory dealt heavily with psychosis and worked closely with mental health organisations to make sure its depiction of this affliction was true-to-life.

Elsewhere in the industry, Take This is an organisation design to help people in the world of video games who have to live with mental illnesses. Former IGDA chair Kate Edwards and Devolver Digital/Good Shepherd co-founder Mike Wilson leading the charge on this subject.

Wilson spoke to PCGamesInsider recently about the need to talk more about mental health problems and emphasised the need for AFK rooms at big, loud convention centres.

Sports Interactive has not been afraid to deal with real-world issues in the Football Manager series, either. In the 2017 edition of the title, the developer had a simulation for Brexit. Meanwhile, in Football Manager 2018, the studio had fictional players coming out as gay

"Males, in particular, are hard to reach and engage, and the gaming environment in Football Manager is a great way to connect with them," said Simon Mitchell from the advert's developer Bidstack. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.