It’s been a question that I’ve been asked a lot over the past couple of weeks in the run up to this year’s Geek Mental Help Week, so I thought that I’d explain in more than Twitter’s 140 characters.
People are often surprised at how open I’ve been about my struggles with depression and depersonalisation, despite the fact that I’ve been talking about it for almost ten years. It’s a topic that deeply personal and stems not just from my own experiences but the fact that my father, bless him, struggled with what today might be called a bipolar disorder and committed suicide at the age of 38.
I believe that talking about mental health issues and sharing our experiences — not just those of people who suffer, but also those who live with and support us — can help everyone. Whether you struggle with your own mental health or care for someone who does, you can help others to understand how you cope. Geek Mental Help Week is all about sharing those experiences.
THE GEEK MENTAL HELP WEBSITE
Every year, the Geek Mental Help website is where we link to people from all over our industry who are sharing their mental health experiences. We link to new articles and blog entries published during Geek Mental Help week, podcast episodes and events happening that week. We also link to resources that may help people who are dealing with the subjects covered.
Geek Mental Help is open to everyone, inside or outside creative and technical industries who has something to say about mental health issues.
SUBJECTS TO WRITE ABOUT
Everyone’s experience, specific mental health issues and the ways we deal with them are different. For Geek Mental Help Week, we’d love to read your experiences with, but not limited to:
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorders
- Eating disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Personality disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
You can write as little or as much as you feel comfortable doing, and publish it on your own website, Medium or anywhere else with a URL.
ADD YOUR PIECE TO THE GEEK MENTAL HELP WEBSITE
When you’ve published your piece, submit a Pull Request to the Geek Mental Help website on GitHub. We’ll then review your request and if the formatting is correct, we’ll publish it.
If you’re not familiar with using GitHub, Gem Hill has written all about Contributing to Geek Mental Help week if you’ve never used Git.
If you’d prefer us to add your link for you, tweet us @geekmentalhelp and we’ll be happy to help.
If you’d prefer to write anonymously, you may email us your piece and we’ll publish it on our Geek Mental Help Medium.
PLEASE GET INVOLVED
There are several ways to be involved in Geek Mental Help Week:
- Write an article or blog post about your experiences and link to it from the Geek Mental Help website.
- Record a podcast episode or segment about mental health and link to that.
- Submit resources that you think are helpful.
- Share Geek Mental Help @geekmentalhelp and use the #geekmentalhelp hashtag.
It wasn’t for me sharing my own problems last December with some dear, dear friends (and the Samaritans) I might not be here today, so this year Geek Mental Help Week means even more to me. I hope that you’ll be involved in any way you can.