What Mass Effect Andromeda Got Right About Mental Illness

I’m a gamer. To be specific, I’m a die-hard Bethesda fan since 2011 when I started playing Fallout 3. But this isn’t about that – it’s about a video game that I’m TERRIBLE at playing.

Mass Effect Andromeda may be all the things I’m awful at in games (3rd person, party management, the list goes on) but it got something right that’s very close to my heart.

That, my friends, is this message on a terminal (text written below since it may be difficult to read):


Subject: Mental Wellness


Given recent events, this seems like a good time to refresh you on the Andromeda Initiative’s mental wellness program. This states that mental disorders are…

  1. REAL. Stress, PTSD, anxiety, and depression are not “just being tired” or “making something out of nothing.” They are complex conditions that require proper attention and care.
  2. RELATABLE. At some point, your colleagues have likely experienced the same feelings. Regardless, those around you are supportive and sympathetic to what you’re going through.
  3. TREATABLE. A broken leg takes special treatment, rest, and an adjusted workload to properly heal. Mental disorders are no different, and can be alleviated with medication, therapy, and support.

Come by medbay if you have questions. [Lexi]

To clarify, this is in a AAA game about exploration, fighting, and soldiers.

It got this right.

As someone who has experienced the full gamut of what is described above (extreme stress, PTSD, anxiety, and depression), this nails how we should think about mental illness/mental wellness.

So even though I don’t play the game and never will, Mass Effect Andromeda will be one of my favorite games until the end of time.

Let’s talk. What other examples of video games, books, and TV shows have you seen mental illness/mental wellness portrayed WELL? Comment here or find me on Twitter – I’d love to hear from you.