Gaming-Based Veterans Charity Stack Up Uses Discord In New Suicide Prevention Program

Suicide Prevention

One of the most positive aspects of gaming culture that has grown with the proliferation of internet usage in gaming circles has been the ability to coordinate charitable efforts in-tandem with gaming activities. Many game publishers have used their platforms to support charities with the help of their audiences, and organizations like Extra Life and Games Done Quick have encouraged gamers to conduct livestreams that have attracted donations to very worthy causes. One special charity that has arisen is Stack Up, which is an organization that has used gaming as an outreach tool for the aid of veterans experiencing difficulties with civilian life. Now, Stack Up has announced a new program that will use Discord as a tool for suicide prevention.

Stack Up has announced the new program called the Stack Up Overwatch Program, or STOP, and has spoken with Polygon about its purpose. The program will utilize Discord, which is well known among online gaming circles as a handy communication tool, to connect veterans that need to talk with a volunteer whenever they are experiencing difficult times back home. These volunteers will be trained with courses offered by the PsychArmor Institute specializing in crisis management and suicide prevention. Stephanie Ownes, the leader of Stack Up’s new STOP program, gave her reasoning for starting the program by saying:

“I noticed a lot of people reaching out to me personally and wanting to just talk about things. Maybe they were having money problems or they didn’t feel well or they were having some trouble at home with their families. I just sat and listened to them. I offered an ear. … I was able to connect them with some services in their area to help them out with some of their bills. And I thought, ‘You know what? I think maybe this might need to be a thing.”

Stack Up has hosted LAN gaming events in the past at Veterans Affairs centers and through local chapters of their organization to give veterans a place to connect with their communities and to hopefully offer support with issues commonly affecting veterans, such as PTSD, depression or just stresses of coping with civilian life. With an average of 20 veterans taking their own life every day in the U.S., according to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, resources like these are absolutely important in fighting to drop those statistics. The STOP program definitely seems like a smart way to extend the idea of these events to an online platform available to any web-using veteran anywhere at any time. Anyone interested in volunteering with the STOP suicide prevention program can apply on the official Stack Up website.

Be sure to stay tuned for the latest Discord news, such as Discord’s interest in teaming up with Nintendo for voice chat, here on Don’t Feed the Gamers! Follow us on Twitter to see our updates the minute they go live!

Cory Lara1276 Posts

A royally radical and totally tubular 90s kid, Cory has a passion for all things nerdy, particularly gaming and nostalgia. While an accountant by day, he strives to be as creative and humorous as possible in his free time, be it here writing on Don't Feed the Gamers, or making dumb satirical posts on his Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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