Stronger Than Fear: Mental Health in the Developer Community

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Proposal
Keynote
Beginner

Excerpt

Mental disorders are the largest contributor to disease burden in North America, but the developer community and those who employ us are afraid to face the problem head-on. In this talk, we'll examine the state of mental health awareness in the developer workplace, why most developers feel it isn't safe to talk about mental health, and what we can do to change the culture and save lives. Attendees will leave with 5 things they can do to make their workplace safer for those dealing with mental health disorders.

Description

New for 2016: 1. We’ll finally show our new documentation for workplaces to implement MH-friendly policies 2. 2016 survey results with information about the prevalence of certain mental disorders among developers, and how it differs from the general population

  • Intro to me, my background as dev with mental disorders
    • I’m like 20% of the population
  • Cover the state of mental disorders as the #1 cause of disease burden
  • Show data points from survey
  • Present possible conclusions based on the data
    • Devs do not feel safe discussing mental health in the workplace
  • Present solutions to combat this
    • Mental Health First Aid
    • Vacation and Sick Leave policies
    • Proactive discussion of mental health
    • Avoiding burnout/reducing stress
    • Prominently presenting available mental health resources
  • Reasons for implementing these solutions
    • Higher productivity and motivation
    • Reduced absenteeism
    • Health insurance cost containment
    • Preparedness for disasters
    • Loyalty and retention
    • Hiring and promoting the most qualified people
    • More efficient workplace practices and policies
    • Better workplace relations
    • Diversity, acceptance, and respect in the workplace

Tags

mental health, diversity, culture, workplace

Speaking experience

I've given talks on this topic nearly 30 times in the last three years. All of the recorded talks and slides are available at: https://osmihelp.org/#talks

I have spoken at numerous conferences on technical and non-technical topics, including:

OSCON
Open Source Bridge
SXSW Interactive
Adobe MAX
Nodevember
CodeMash
MadisonPHP
Madison Ruby
PyTennessee
ConnectJS
EmpireJS
The Combine
KalamazooX
Distill
CodeConnexx
SkiPHP
ZendCon
TedXLafayette
True North PHP
Lone Star PHP
PHP|tek
PHP|works
Dev Workshop Conference
PHP Community Conference
Expression Engine/CodeIgniter Conf

I was awarded an Open Source Citizen award at OSBridge 2014 for my work in this area.

Speaker

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