Safe Minecraft servers

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Saskatchewan division, is using Minecraft to provide a safe place for youth to have fun and to connect with mental health support.

Minecraft allows you to play online with your friends and make almost any kind of thing out of virtual blocks.

Signs in-game can be found on the CMHA server for crisis or mental health support numbers. Discord has been created so that players can chat. Discord will be home to CMHA mental health staff. Players can also speak with them privately if needed.

Jay, a Regina resident aged 19, asked for her last name to be kept private. Jay has had experience with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Since she was seven years of age, Jay has been a keen Minecraft player and helped set up the CMHA's server.

Jay has experience in building Minecraft servers for friends and family. Jay said that the game helped her relax and has helped her mental health.

Jay said, "I suppose I think the idea that you're building something or doing something towards larger goals, which makes it feel like I am contributing or building towards something which is a really great boost to have and an excellent confidence boost."

A screenshot of the hub of the CMHA's Minecraft Server that includes a replica Mosaic Stadium.

Rebecca Rackow, director for advocacy, research, and public policy development at the CMHA's Saskatchewan Branch, stated that her organization had heard from people about online gaming's bullying and intolerance. This can impact people's mental health. They decided to create a supportive environment that was positive. Rackow stated that they were inspired to create a positive place for social justice by Minecraft's other social justice initiatives, such as art galleries or libraries.

"We thought it would make sense to do something similar. Rackow stated that Rackow aims to create a mentally safe environment for people to play and talk about things without judgment.

Three worlds are available on the CMHA Minecraft server: One with mini-games, one with survival space, and one with creative space. In reference to the Last Saskatchewan Pirate song, the creative world features a pirate ship. Special events will be held, as well as group mental health coaching.

Rackow stated that the Minecraft server was started by youth for youth. However, Rackow said that anyone can participate in the CMHA. They only ask that you have a positive attitude and respect each other. Moderators will be available to help ensure that things are respectful and to remove any user who is not adhering to the rules.

You can find information on how to join Discord and Minecraft servers on the CMHA website, Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation, RBC foundation sponsor the project.