11 Switch Games To Play During Mental Health Awareness Month

Every May you’ll see various organisations, groups and individuals taking the opportunity to raise mental health awareness. It’s a topic that now has far more research, understanding and knowledge attached to it, in the process helping people recognise and get help for related issues.

The stigma around mental health issues is thankfully being reduced each year, with popular media also addressing different aspects of the topic. Mainstream movies and TV shows now increasingly portray mental health, and gaming is no different. In the gaming space this is often in the Indie or download space, but there have been some major success stories that show the importance of the subject, and gamers’ eagerness to engage with titles that show creativity and emotional intelligence alongside shooty-shooty-bang-bang mechanics and spectacle.

The Switch has a number of games that tackle different aspects of mental health, such as issues of identity, self-confidence, social skills, processing and dealing with trauma, and more besides. This list picks out some exceptional games on Nintendo’s system that fall into this category; a number of our team can certainly relate to these games being not only terrific to play, but being emotive and powerful experiences.

Celeste (Switch eShop)Celeste (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Matt Makes Games / Developer: Matt Makes Games

Release Date: 25th Jan 2018 (USA) / 25th Jan 2018 (UK/EU)
GRIS (Switch eShop)GRIS (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Nomada Studio

Release Date: 13th Dec 2018 (USA) / 13th Dec 2018 (UK/EU)
Sayonara Wild Hearts (Switch eShop)Sayonara Wild Hearts (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Annapurna Interactive / Developer: Simogo

Release Date: 19th Sep 2019 (USA) / 19th Sep 2019 (UK/EU)
Night In The Woods (Switch eShop)Night In The Woods (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Finji / Developer: Infinite Fall

Release Date: 1st Feb 2018 (USA) / 1st Feb 2018 (UK/EU)
Lost Words: Beyond The Page (Switch eShop)Lost Words: Beyond The Page (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Modus Games / Developer: Sketchbook Games

Release Date: 6th Apr 2021 (USA) / 6th Apr 2021 (UK/EU)

In Lost Words: Beyond the Page you play as a young girl exploring her imagination, using words and creativity in very literal ways to shape the world around you. There’s some scope for determining the story, too, but the overall narrative is a huge strength beyond the beautiful visuals and gentle platform puzzling. It’s a pleasurable gaming experience also suited to less skilled players, too, but it’s in the journey of our young protagonist — and the loss she must confront — that the true weight of this experience is to be found.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (Switch eShop)Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Ninja Theory / Developer: Ninja Theory

Release Date: 11th Apr 2019 (USA) / 11th Apr 2019 (UK/EU)
Florence (Switch eShop)Florence (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Annapurna Interactive / Developer: Mountains

Release Date: 13th Feb 2020 (USA) / 13th Feb 2020 (UK/EU)
Spiritfarer (Switch eShop)Spiritfarer (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Thunder Lotus Games / Developer: Thunder Lotus Games

Release Date: 18th Aug 2020 (USA) / 18th Aug 2020 (UK/EU)
To The Moon (Switch eShop)To The Moon (Switch eShop)

Publisher: X.D. Network / Developer: Freebird Games

Release Date: 16th Jan 2020 (USA) / 16th Jan 2020 (UK/EU)
Unpacking (Switch eShop)Unpacking (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Humble Games / Developer: Witch Beam

Release Date: 2nd Nov 2021 (USA) / 2nd Nov 2021 (UK/EU)
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (Switch eShop)Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (Switch eShop)

Publisher: ZA/UM / Developer: ZA/UM

Release Date: 12th Oct 2021 (USA) / 12th Oct 2021 (UK/EU)

Those are some of our recommended games that address or reference aspects of mental health; be sure to share your thoughts and suggestions for the list in the comments below — we may well add to this selection if we’ve missed something special.

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