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Safe Space: The Video Games Mental Health Podcast

Safe Space: The Video Games Mental Health Podcast

By Safe In Our World

The official Safe In Our World Podcast, discussing mental health in video games, the games industry and everything in between.
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How to Tell Meaningful Stories Through Games with Paula Angela Escuadra (Season 2, Episode 1)

Safe Space: The Video Games Mental Health PodcastJun 03, 2022

The Diagnosis Dilemma (S3E02)

The Diagnosis Dilemma (S3E02)

Rosie chats with Dr Raffael Boccomazzo, or Doctor B, who is a clinical psychologist and clinical director at video games mental health non-profit Take This. We talk about Dr B's long history in psychology, therapy and diagnosis, why he's got to where he is today, and his own experiences in diagnosis.

Raffael discusses the intricacies of intersectionality within diagnosis and marginalised groups, and the differences in mental health and neurodiversity such as ADHD and Autism.

How to ADHD

Dr Russell Barkley Take This⁠

Nov 23, 202301:04:29
Exploring Borderline Personality Disorder (S3E01)
Aug 31, 202346:05
The Life We Deserve: Unpacking A Plague Tale with Charlotte McBurney (S2E20)
May 17, 202301:07:40
Diversifying Therapy with Demi Fortson (S2E19)

Diversifying Therapy with Demi Fortson (S2E19)

In this episode, Rosie chats to Demi Fortson, Co-Founder at Mendu and Doctoral Student Researcher at Columbia University in the City of New York.

We talk about the origins of Mendu, and it's purpose. Mendu is a self-care app built with a culturally competent AI to talk through your problems with you. It promotes the premise of prompted audio journaling, whilst educating users on topics and feelings built on science and data.

"Our journaling prompts were made by diverse women for others facing similar life events. We are transforming the way therapeutic journaling and meditation is done by providing relevant and inclusive audio pieces you can connect with."

We discuss how mental health stigma differs across cultures, countries and wealth, as well as how this discussion can be broadened to include more experiences, and how diagnostic criteria is linked to group (mis)understanding around certain topics.

Demi explains the differences in therapy and how we can look to become more inclusive and informed when looking for/recommending therapists for example. We look into the concept of audio journaling vs traditional journaling, and why it might be more appealing to many folks, and the usefulness/convenience of audio features.

Finally, we touch on our go-to games for anxiety and stress, whilst highlighting active participation from games vs passive consumption of media and how it can aid in distraction during stressful periods.



Demi's LinkedIn

STEM Groups to follow







Apr 11, 202348:30
Grief, Healing and God of War with Adam J. Harrington (S2E18)

Grief, Healing and God of War with Adam J. Harrington (S2E18)

In this episode of the Safe Space Podcast, Rosie and Harry chat to Adam J. Harrington, the wonderful voice of Sindri, from God of War.

Now, before we go any further, this is an official spoiler warning.


In this episode we will be discussing heavy spoilers from God of War Ragnarok. If you'd like to avoid spoilers, please don't listen to this episode!

We were delighted to invite Adam J. Harrington to discuss the evolution of Sindri within God of War Ragnarok, and dive into the role that grief played in his character progression throughout the story.

Adam talks about his experiences playing Sindri, and his portrayal of loss within a game which is very much focused on healing and acceptance in many ways. We discuss the challenges that Sindri faced following the death of his brother, and how that translated to Adam's performance.

We also talk about how actors can bring lived experience to performances when tackling heavy emotions such as grief, and the expectations that Adam had for the sequel to God of War (2018). Adam shares memories and experiences that he had whilst performing scenes for God of War Ragnarok, and how the actors were such a tight knit community, and brings to light behind the scenes perspectives of creating this masterpiece of a game.

Sindri's theme also played a part in bringing together the character to the screens, and Adam talks about his relationship with Bear McCreary and the inspirations behind creating the music that accompanied Sindri as a character.

Follow Adam on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about Mrs. American Pie, a new TV show Adam is working on!

Mar 21, 202353:39
How Games Can Help Us Grieve with Dr Emma Reay (S2E17)
Mar 07, 202350:23
Autism and Game Development with JJ Fox (S2E16)

Autism and Game Development with JJ Fox (S2E16)

In this episode of Safe Space, Rosie talks to JJ Fox about neurodiversity - specifically, JJ's experiences being an autistic game dev and how it links to mental health. JJ is an indie game developer currently working on Hymble Ventures, as well as a Safe In Our World Class of 2023 Ambassador. They are also a fan of cosplaying, kung-fu and heavy metal. 

We discuss the common stigmas and misunderstandings surrounding autism in the games industry, and the ins and outs of autism awareness and acceptance. We chat about JJ's game in development Hymble Ventures, which is a 3D puzzle platformer about an insect-like alien on the autism spectrum.

The core mechanics of Hymble Ventures are based on controlling the five senses (touch, taste, sight, smell, hear). For neurodiverse people, they can be hypersensitive to sensory information and may overreact to increasing stimuli. This autism trait is an inspiration to aspects of Hymble’s world such as quirky, organ-shaped berries that grant enhanced sight, or smell etc.

We cover JJ's experiences of when they have not been supported in the workplace, and highlight the importance of valuing and supporting neurodiverse people at work. 

Follow Hymble Ventures on Twitter, Instagram and Ko-Fi.

Feb 15, 202332:42
BIPOC Mental Health & Celebrating Diversity with Ladell Smith (S2E15)

BIPOC Mental Health & Celebrating Diversity with Ladell Smith (S2E15)

On the first episode of 2023, Rosie talks to Ladell Smith, the Associate Social and Community Manager at Auroch Digital, Safe In Our World Ambassador in our Class of 2023, and owner of They Play Podcast - which is a space for gender non conforming people to share their stories and love of games!

We kick off the episode discussing their history of most treasured games, how they started streaming and working in the industry. We focus specifically on how folks can understand BIPOC Mental Health in a more equitable way, and be a better ally for BIPOC folk in the mental health space.

Ladell discusses how stigma can fluctuate depending on socioeconomic status, culture, and location, as well as how that has an effect on BIPOC when opening up about their own mental health.

Finally we celebrate Ladell's favourite moments in their career so far, and look to the future of the industry! 

You can find Ladell's personal twitter at @Pastelbat90, or follow their podcast They Play Games at @TheyPlayPodcast on Twitter.

Jan 17, 202345:20
Fighting Games & DnD with Sajam (S2E14)

Fighting Games & DnD with Sajam (S2E14)

We welcome Sajam to the Safe Space Podcast, to talk about his experiences in mental health within his content.

Sajam is a Twitch Partner and fighting games commentator/analyst, segue specialist, with a passion for DnD. He was also one of the commentators in Intel Gaming World Relay 2022, which supported Safe In Our World alongside 3 other charities in the games space.

One of Sajam's most popular shows is his series 'Will it Kill?', which involves funny fighting game clips and the community voting on whether the combo will kill or not based on a freezeframe of a hit of a combo.

Rosie invites Sajam to talk about his own experiences as a creator, and looking into the link between mental health and games for him. We cover toxicity in gaming spaces, and his own ways of tackling it as well as his way of setting boundaries and community guidelines. He also elaborates on how DnD has become a bigger part of his life, and why it became special to him.

Additionally, we explore what should be seen more within games communities and the industry as a whole.

Finally, it wouldn't be a Safe Space podcast if Rosie didn't interrogate the guests on their pets, and Sajam didn't disappoint. He talks about his newly adopted kittens, who were born beneath his house, and their adventures in the big world so far.

Nov 29, 202242:34
Navigating Poor Mental Health with RenjiPls (S2E13)
Nov 14, 202201:02:41
Accountability & Setting Boundaries with Blizzb3ar (S2E12)

Accountability & Setting Boundaries with Blizzb3ar (S2E12)

In this episode, Rosie chats to Blizzb3ar, Producer and Content Creator at Rooster Teeth, Twitch Partner and Bisexual Villain (Icon).

We discuss his path into content creation, as well as his motivations for getting into Twitch and the relationship he has with his community. Blizz talks about how his mental health has been affected by content creation, both positively and negatively, as well as having a platform to be unapologetically bisexual and unapologetically Black on the internet.

We discuss how we can set and practice boundaries within internet communities, and the requirement to have a willingness to learn and move forward. Blizz outlines the difference in 'calling in' vs 'calling out' when creators make mistakes, and the importance that they both play.

The importance of having things that are yours, rather than content, is also talked about with the focus on separating work, content and personal life.

Stardew Valley once again comes into conversation as a game that means a lot to Blizzb3ar - which was the beginning of his journey in creation from initially streaming it on his Xbox. As many other gamers have found from Stardew Valley, it became a community to find other players who were part of the queer community for example.

Blizz talks about the fact that he hasn't yet found a character that he sees himself in within the gaming world, and the importance for character representation and having a fully diverse range of people in marginalised communities.

We also touch on what we'd like to see from companies when working with creators.


Want to listen to more episodes of the Safe Space Podcast?
Check out the full list of episodes at this link.

Nov 01, 202248:22
A Conversation with The Witcher with Doug Cockle (S2E11)
Oct 18, 202201:00:39
Emotional Resilience with Posy Brewer (S2E10)
Oct 04, 202253:00
Games for Diagnosis with Dr Emilia Molimpakis (S2E09)
Sep 20, 202249:30
Defenders of Easy Games with Dr Matthew White (S2E08)
Sep 06, 202254:02
How Being Immunocompromised Affects Your Mental Health with Ellen Rose (S2E07)
Aug 23, 202201:18:04
Fighting Toxicity in Gaming with Dr Kimberly Voll (S2E06)
Aug 09, 202257:28
The Psychology Behind Hellblade with Paul Fletcher (S2E05)
Jul 26, 202251:32
A Fairer Games Industry with Rami Ismail (Season 2, Episode 4)
Jul 12, 202254:46
Life Is Strange with Katy Bentz (Season 2, Episode 3)
Jun 28, 202250:02
Custom Pronouns in the Sims 4 with Momo Misfortune (Season 2, Episode 2)
Jun 21, 202249:39
Minecraft, Medication and Matching Outfits with Sky Tunley-Stainton (Meet the Team Special)
Jun 14, 202234:48
How to Tell Meaningful Stories Through Games with Paula Angela Escuadra (Season 2, Episode 1)

How to Tell Meaningful Stories Through Games with Paula Angela Escuadra (Season 2, Episode 1)

Jun 03, 202257:09
From Filmmaking to Inspiring Change with Benn Wiebe (Special Episode: Meet the Team)

From Filmmaking to Inspiring Change with Benn Wiebe (Special Episode: Meet the Team)

In this special episode of the podcast, Rosie talks to our new Strategy and Corporate Partnerships Officer; Benn Wiebe! 

Benn has an incredibly varied and interesting career, from working on the Twilight film (!) to the United Nations. He talks about his passions in moving into the video games space, and actively pushing for positive change for topics such as environmental action and improved mental health support. These creative industries have the power to drive forwards positive change and make a real difference using a loved medium such as film or games.

About Benn

Benn Wiebe has been a social impact strategist and producer who has lived across the United States, Denmark, and the UK. As the executive producer of HF Productions Benn has overseen a global series of film festivals that champion vast perspectives and international narratives, and has advised or consulted for organizations across film and games including Netflix, The United Nations, Sony Pictures, Sybo Games, Count Us In, Vice Media, Yea! Impact, Global Environment Media, Climate Crisis Hub, and SIE Society. He is a member of the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences, Producers Guild of America, Playing for the Planet Alliance, and the IGDA Climate SIG.

May 24, 202254:27
A Game of Minecraft to a Best Man's Speech with Alex King (Mental Health Month Special)
May 19, 202228:14
Existential Anxiety and how FFIX Helped Liam Wilson (Mental Health Month Special)
May 17, 202245:47
How Experiencing Addiction Changed My Life with Grant Hill (Season 1 Episode 20)

How Experiencing Addiction Changed My Life with Grant Hill (Season 1 Episode 20)

In the season 1 finale of the Safe Space Podcast, Rosie talks to Grant Hill, esports caster for Race to World First for Method and occasional streamer. He's previously delved into esports journalism, as well as casting for Starcraft II.

In this episode, we discuss Grant's journey, including how he was introduced to Safe In Our World, and the recent Race to World First Tournament. Grant opens up about his struggles with addiction, and how it has affected his career and life over the years, including his recent overdose and subsequent path to recovery. 

We also discuss the issues surrounding mental health within the esports realm, and how he thinks we could start to change the culture for the better. 


Grant's Twitter

Race to World First


May 13, 202201:15:26
Special Effect, Cosmic Hearts and Through Our Eyes with Paige Harvey (Season 1 Episode 19)

Special Effect, Cosmic Hearts and Through Our Eyes with Paige Harvey (Season 1 Episode 19)

In the penultimate episode of the season, Rosie chats to Paige Harvey about her incredible work with the gamers charity Special Effect and the annual Gameblast event that unites gamers each year in support of the charity. Paige also discusses their work in Charity Stream Team Cosmic Hearts, which is a team of content creators devoted to raising funds & awareness for vital causes close to our hearts while championing safe, diverse & inclusive spaces online! 

We also discuss Paige's work in Through Our Eyes through podcasts and streams, and the inspirations behind it. 


Special Effect

Cosmic Hearts

Through Our Eyes

Paige's Twitter

May 05, 202250:23
Mental Health Marathons with Mindset By Dave (Season 1 Episode 18)
Apr 28, 202255:52
Stress-relieving games and games industry stories with Jake Kulkowski (Season 1 Episode 17)

Stress-relieving games and games industry stories with Jake Kulkowski (Season 1 Episode 17)

In this episode, Rosie talks to Jake Kulkowski about his role at Dead Good Media, his podcasts with Wired Productions and Special Moves, and his career path into the video games industry. We also focus on what games we go to for our own stress relief, and the kinds of titles that enable us to relax, including the discussion around why some gamers find escapism within horror titles. 

We discuss Jake's mental health story, and some of the games that mean the most to him.


Dead Good Media

Wired Productions

Special Moves

Apr 21, 202253:21
Content, Community and Inclusivity with GeekyCassie (Season 1 Episode 16)
Apr 12, 202201:00:32
How Games Like Chicory and Celeste Can Help Us with Mark Flynn (Season 1 Episode 15)
Apr 05, 202201:02:42
How Epilepsy Affects Gaming with Charlotte Callister (Season 1 Episode 14)
Mar 26, 202246:54
Borderline Personality Disorder and ADHD with Charlotte Rouget-Murphy (Season 1 Episode 13)
Mar 11, 202201:06:06
Do I Look Like a Gamer with Nigel Twumasi (Season 1 Episode 12)
Mar 04, 202246:18
Streaming & The Samaritans with Rach Henderson (Season 1 Episode 11)
Feb 22, 202246:07
Psychology in Games, Gaming Disorder and Cavill Influencers with Dr Rachel Kowert (Season 1 Episode 10)
Feb 09, 202239:31
The stories of #AudioIndustryGame with Eliana Zebro (Season 1 Episode 9)
Jan 24, 202239:06
Exploring EDI in Games & Autistica with Dom Shaw (Season 1 Episode 8)
Jan 13, 202201:02:43
Wii Fit, Irish Accents and Caring for a Loved One with Adam Clarke (Season 1 Episode 7)
Dec 15, 202101:06:53
Code is Just with Shahid Ahmad (Season 1 Episode 6)
Dec 08, 202101:01:31
Exploring EDI, inclusivity and diversity within games with Raccine Malcolm (Season 1 Episode 5)

Exploring EDI, inclusivity and diversity within games with Raccine Malcolm (Season 1 Episode 5)

This week we were delighted to have Raccine Malcolm on the Safe Space podcast!
Raccine is a communications professional that specializes in empathy-driven, engagement-based community development and management. Multicultural awareness, belonging, EDI, mental health, along with the interconnectedness of communities are some of her deepest interests and driving forces behind her work. We are delighted to have Raccine as a Safe In Our World Ambassador, championing mental health within the games industry alongside us.
On this episode, we discuss the importance of incorporating EDI into companies and communities, promoting inclusivity and diversity within the games industry and how mental health fits into these topics. We also chat about our favourite mental health related titles, including Raccine's all time favourites such as When the Darkness Comes and Sunshine Days.
Nov 25, 202157:34
Charity Streaming with Hannah Rutherford (Season 1 Episode 4)

Charity Streaming with Hannah Rutherford (Season 1 Episode 4)

On this episode of Safe Space, Rosie and Jake chatted to Hannah Rutherford on all things charity streaming. We get into some of the evolution of games, from Mario is Missing to Lara Croft, as well as the struggles that individuals face when creating content and how we can take care of ourselves. 

Nov 03, 202154:11
LGBTQ+ in games with Robin Gray (Season 1 Episode 3)

LGBTQ+ in games with Robin Gray (Season 1 Episode 3)

We had a conversation on the support and challenges within the games industry for LGBTQ+ communities with the wonderful Robin Gray from Gayming Magazine. We chatted representation within video games characters, groups in the industry who rally for change, and touched on tips for those entering the industry on how to find support. 

Robin is the Founder of Gayming Magazine, with over 1 million monthly readers, Co-Founder of Gray Jones Media, TV producer at Parrlime Studios and a Patron of Safe In Our World. 

Oct 20, 202101:01:02
Twitch, Content Creation and Leading a Mental Health Talk Show with Mxiety (Season 1 Episode 2)

Twitch, Content Creation and Leading a Mental Health Talk Show with Mxiety (Season 1 Episode 2)

This episode, we chat with Mxiety (or Marie) about the work she does in broadening the conversation around mental health through platforms such as Twitch, Twitter and more. We discuss the importance of sharing our personal stories, boundaries between creators and their audience, and the pros and challenges that accompany the above. 

Oct 05, 202150:39
An Introduction to Safe In Our World (Season 1 Episode 1)

An Introduction to Safe In Our World (Season 1 Episode 1)

For the very first episode of Safe Space, we wanted to introduce our listeners to the Safe In Our World team, the aims and mission of the charity and some insight into why we're passionate about the conversation surrounding mental health within the games industry and beyond. 

Sep 23, 202137:19