Charles Town, WV (November 9, 2021) - The AbleGamers Foundation — a charity that wields the power of video games to break down the barriers of social isolation for people with disabilities — today announced the appointment of Roger Brooks as the organization’s Director of Peer Counseling, Mental Health. The appointment of Mr. Brooks is the second hiring move the charity has made recently to grow its Peer Counseling sector. By developing and employing a dynamic continuum of engagement, AbleGamers will be able to meet players and get them the help they need to enable play and social interaction.
AbleGamers’ Peer Counseling programs don’t just include hardware and peripheral consultations; working with engineers and occupational professionals, the Peer Counseling team crafts individualized strategies for people with disabilities to develop solutions to accessibility challenges, combat their social isolation, and join a community of millions of players worldwide. Peer counselors assess the potential needs of a player and help to minimize and remove the accessibility hurdles stopping the player from exploring amazing worlds, stories, and experiences created in video games.
“While social isolation may impact individuals differently, that impact is rarely isolated in affecting only one area of that individual's life,” said Mark Barlet, Founder and Executive Director of AbleGamers. “That collective impact is bound to have an influence on psychological well-being. Unpacking the impact on mental health as we influence and reduce social isolation is an exciting next step to our mission.”
“It is such a privilege to join the AbleGamers’ team and support its mission to battle social isolation,” said Mr. Brooks. “Research has correlated social isolation with mental health, including emotional, psychological, and social well-being. That impact may be amplified by challenges present with visible and invisible disabilities. I am excited to explore the mental health impact of removing or reducing social isolation.”
“With the addition of Roger to the team, the Peer Counseling pillar will be better equipped to get players back to playing and connected with their peers,” said Dr. Andy Wu, Sr. Director of Peer Counseling, AbleGamers. “His perspective is valuable in understanding the mental health aspects of social isolation and overall quality of life for people with disabilities.”
Prior to joining the AbleGamers team, Mr. Brooks worked on mental health initiatives as part of the Wounded Warrior Project. He was also Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Officer for Supportive Services for La Paz Community Mental Health Care. Roger received his Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology.
Learn more about the AbleGamers mission and find out how to donate and participate in fundraising at the official site: https://ablegamers.org.
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About The AbleGamers Foundation
The AbleGamers Charity is a 501(c)(3) charity that wields the power of video games to break down the barriers of economic and social isolation for people with disabilities. Through received support and donations, AbleGamers provides disabled gamers with assistive technologies (including their Expansion Pack program) that allow those with limited real-world mobility to experience what it is like to walk, run, climb, drive and even fly – in a virtual world. AbleGamers additionally advises developers and publishers on how to best incorporate accessibility options so that their video game titles may reach and appeal to the widest and most diverse audience possible. To find out how your support or donations can help them positively impact an even greater number of individuals with disabilities, please visit www.ablegamers.org.
Jessica Timms and Mario R. Kroll