Cloud9 Teams Up With Kaiser Permanente for Mental Health Initiative Presence of Mind

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Earlier today, Kaiser Permanente announced a new mental-health awareness initiative aimed at young people.

That in itself might not seem like compelling news, but the U.S.-based health-care service provider has teamed up with pro eSports organization Cloud9 for the initiative, which it is calling Presence of Mind.

According to a news release, Presence of Mind’s goal is “to increase mental health awareness, reduce stigma, and encourage teens and young adults to prioritize their well-being.”

Where does Cloud9 fit into this plan? Kaiser Permanente will provide players and staff with training that enables them to engage fans in mental-health conversations, and will launch a new content series on Twitch. The first phase will kick off this month with Cloud9’s League of Legends team, which is currently ranked No. 1 in North America.

Kaiser Permanente notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has led more people to speak openly about mental health. The organization cites research from the Public Good Projects that shows a significant increase—nearly 49 percent—in mental-health conversations over social media since January 2020.

“Partnering with Kaiser Permanente allows us to shine a spotlight on the importance of mental health and wellness in our community, and to set an example for everyone in our industry,” said Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne. “Gaming and eSports is a refuge for so many during this pandemic, and we want our fans and our players at their healthiest, both mentally and physically.”

I have done a lot of different things over the course of my life and professional career. I have interviewed Oscar and Grammy winners and written cover stories for glossy newsstand magazines. I have played guitar in a rock band on national TV and run an independent music label for which I wrote all of the PR and marketing materials. In my spare time, I sweated out a novel about a world where raccoons are kings and dragons are real.

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