Riot Games, the development team behind League of Legends and Valorant, has announced a new partnership with Crisis Text Line, a hotline for those struggling with mental health. Through the partnership, people in the U.S. and Canada experiencing crises can text “RIOT” to the number 741741 to be connected with a counselor.
This seems to be another way for people potentially struggling with mental health to be exposed to the service, especially at a time when mental health issues are so common and more people are hearing about Riot due to the recent launch of its online shooter, Valorant.
“We’re excited to partner with Crisis Text Line to provide players real, accessible resources when they or someone they know may be in times of crisis,” said Riot Games director of social impact Jeffrey Burrell in the press email. “Suicide is a leading cause of death for people under 35 around the world and we hope that this partnership can reach more people during their times of need.”
In an email with Paste, Burrell wrote that Riot was looking into other ways to let players know about the resource, such as having “permanent in-client buttons and sharing the hotline on Riot-owned discord channels.”
Since the onset of COVID-19, Crisis Text Line has seen a surge of traffic as people fear for their lives and livelihoods, and there’s been an increase of people mentioning racism and protests in messages to the text line in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests concerning police brutality and systemic racism.
Riot Games isn’t free of stigma surrounding mental health issues. The studio has been accused of widespread sexism at the company, although Riot eventually apologized and paid out a $10 million settlement to its affected workers, as well as introducing new initiatives that hopefully have made the company a more pleasant place for women to work at. The partnership with Crisis Text Line follows a similar partnership in March with Active Minds, a mental health organization aimed toward students, by providing funding and promoting the organization to players.
If you’re struggling with mental health, you can message Crisis Text Line through Facebook Messenger or by texting 741741. You don’t have to text “RIOT;” that just helps them know where you learned about the service.