Take This, Inc. Founder and President Russ Pitts will present a lecture at the 2014 GDC entitled, “How to Depression-Proof Your Studio Culture,” which will provide perspective on the issues surrounding depression and suggest coping strategies for employees and employers who are struggling with the effects of mental illness at the studio level. The one-hour lecture is part of GDC’s “advocacy” track.
More than 25 percent of adults in America suffer from some form of emotional distress, and those rates can be even higher in the technology and creative industries. Mental health problems result in lower quality of life and lost productivity. It is estimated that over 200 million sick days, representing billions of dollars a year in lost productivity, are the result of depression alone.
“The games industry has been burying its collective head in the sand over mental health issues for too long,” said Pitts. “Meanwhile some of our most creative minds are suffering in silence because they don’t know how to ask for help, or that they even can ask for help. And the people who might want to help them don’t know how to have that conversation.”
The stigma surrounding mental health issues often prevents those who are suffering from actively seeking to regain control of their emotional lives, and prevents those who might want to help from knowing how. These ailments, if left untreated, often worsen. Sometimes with tragic consequences.
GDC 2014 will be held March 17 – 21 at the San Francisco Moscone Center. “How to Depression-Proof Your Studio Culture” will be in Room 304, South Hall on Thursday, March 20 at 4pm PST.