FIFA tournament in the ole mental facility

“If FIFA is so good for us, what should we do about it?” I asked.

“Let’s have a tournament,” he said. “We can make posters for it. And you can bring us in popcorn and chocolate and snacks. And a prize.”

So we did it. We got a whole bunch of staff and patients to work together. We got permission to use the big projector in the conference room. It felt like an old-school LAN party, lights down low, snacks everywhere, people oohing and ahhing. It created a close little community of activity, gave people real, tangible goals and engaged them in a common cause in a completely organic way. I felt like I was watching this beautiful thing spreading roots.

As time passed, FIFA continued to be the most popular game on the ward, and the one that I most often picked when trying to engage with somebody new. People who initially struggled to engage with each other became friends, people who felt isolated found common ground, people with distressing symptoms found moments of respite. That irresistible blend of accessibility, therapeutic value and fun helped me to initiate meaningful dialogue with many people that would otherwise have kept to themselves. It really is a beautiful game.

FIFA is an awesome game. The article also talks about the resilience you learn from the game. I can see how it would make you more confident.


They never had a gaming console at any of the hospitals I went to. :frowning:

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Yea I’ve been in 3 different mental facilities. No Xbox or Playstation.

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Television turned off at 10pm.

Smoke space.

Tea and coffee facilities if you are lucky.

That’s about it.

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There were tvs in the places I went. Most of the time they were never on. No smoking spaces.

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Now that I think about it there was a Nintendo Wii in the last facility I was in. I thought mind control was messing with it when we played the bowling game.

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And they say video games are bad for you …

Sure, violence is not a good subject to touch upon, but when you give patients sports games or other non violent ones, it really is beneficial.

Good post @TheBest.

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Exercise is the key peeps. Do physical exercise and it helps no end. Seriously. Football is a good aerobic sport…if I’ve got that right. You need to run around for 90 minutes!

I’m all for that!

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An Italian football tournament played entirely by psychiatric patients. FIFA video article.

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