Skip to main content

ADA Mental Illness Spotlight – Streamers to Follow

The Americans with Disabilities Act became law on July 26, 1990, with a signature by George H.W. Bush. The purpose of the legislation was to protect those with disabilities from discrimination. It ensured that all Americans would be able to enjoy employment, be able to buy goods and services, and participate within the government.

The ADA has been in effect for 30 years, deeply changing and improving the lives of countless people – including in the games industry. While many people typically associate the ADA with physical disabilities, it also covers cases of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and many, many more.

That’s why it’s so important to see organizations like Twitch, Take This, and Cast Together stepping up to advocate for mental health and normalize the existence of those experiencing mental illness. In fact, about 18.5% of adults report having a mental health condition over the previous year, meaning that at any given time about 44 million adults in the United States are struggling to be functional. That’s only accounting for adults. Due to the stigma around mental illness that persists, many adults fear to report their mental health status.

Thankfully, a growing number of people in the streaming community have taken it upon themselves to help in whatever ways they can. Here are just four of the people out there fighting for mental health awareness and normalization.


Colloquially known as Speedy, NotSoSpeedRuns works as a Warner Bros. Games account manager and in his spare time he streams games on Twitch while talking about mental health as an ambassador for Take This. On top of that, he founded Cast Together, a streaming community that pledges to advocate for mental health. The organization aims to spread the word about mental health in order to destigmatize discussions of the topic while being able to get those struggling in their individual communities the resources they need to make it through.

Sierra Grove

Mental health advocates often have difficulty talking with people about mental illness because often these conditions aren’t visible. Sierra Grove tells the world that she struggles with bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety, helping to make both conditions real in the eyes of her audience. Her streams focus on playing RPGs and Guild Wars 2, something she has played enough to become an ArenaNet partner. Her advocacy attracted the attention of Take This and she has also taken on the responsibilities of being an ambassador for the organization.


Beginning her channel in 2015, SheSnaps would never have thought she would be where she is today. Frank and open discussion about her struggles with severe depression, anxiety, chronic pain, ADHD, and insomnia have inspired many of her viewers and other streamers to open up about their own mental health struggles. She attributes her turn toward better mental health to meditation and mindfulness. As a partnered Twitch streamer, she uses her skills to advocate for others struggling with mental health and builds her community around the principles of kindness, respect, and intentionality. She also works as a photographer, a mindfulness coach, and hosts the Mind of Snaps Podcast.


“Scientist by day, gamer by night, dork always,” Celesmeh is a Latina Queer Scientist who studies Gene editing and programs Robots for work. Tune into her Self Care Saturday streams on Twitch where viewers can check in on their mental health, talk about goals and self-care.

Don’t forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!