Seems like an excellent initiative that’s been going for some years already, but not every school will be involved with it yet (cost shouldn’t be a hindrance, it’s free).
So please take a look and mention it to your contacts (principal, P&C, teacher) at your kids’ school!
The Guardian is collecting experiences from students regarding mental health at university. I must have missed this item earlier as there are only a few days left now to get your contribution in. Please take a look and put in your thoughts!
It’s always excellent to see mental health discussed. It helps us and society as a whole.
Ashe Dryden writes about Dissent Unheard Of – noting “Perhaps the scariest part of speaking out is seeing the subtle insinuation of consequence and veiled threats by those you speak against.”
From my reading of what goes on, much of it is not even very subtle, or veiled. Death and rape threats. Just astonishingly foul. This is not how human beings should treat each other, ever. I have the greatest respect for Ashe, and her courage in speaking out and not being deterred. Rock on Ashe!
The reason I write about it here on BlueHackers.org is that I think there is a fair overlap between issues of harassment and other nasties and depression, and it will affect individuals, companies, conferences and other organisations alike. So it’s important to call it out and actually deal with it, not regard it as someone else’s problem.
Our social and work place environments need to be inclusive for all, it’s as simple as that. Inclusiveness is key to achieving diversity, and diverse environments are the most creative and innovative. If a group is not diverse, you’re missing out in many ways, personally as well as commercially.
Please read Ashe’s thoughtful analysis of what causes people and places to often not be inclusive – such understanding is a good step towards effecting change. Is there something you can do personally to improve matters in an organisation? Please tell about your thoughts, actions and experiences. Let’s talk about this!
BlueHackers.org is an informal initiative with a focus on the wellbeing of geeks who are dealing with depression, anxiety and related matters.
This year we’re more organised than ever with a number of goodies, events and services!
– BlueHackers stickers
– BlueHackers BoF (Tuesday)
– BlueHackers funded psychologist on Thursday and Friday
– extra resources and friendly people to chat with at the conference
This year, we’ll have a professional psychologist, Alyssa Garrett (a Perth local) funded by BlueHackers, LCA2014 and Linux Australia. Alyssa will be available Thursday and part of Friday, we’ll allocate her time in half-hour slots using a simple (paper-based) anonymous booking system. Ask a question, tell a story, take time out, find out what psychology is about… particularly if you’re wondering whether you could use some professional help, or you’ve been procrastinating taking that step, this is your chance. It won’t cost you a thing, and it’s absolutely confidential. We just offer this service because we know how important it is! There will be about 15 slots available.
You can meet Alyssa on Tuesday afternoon already, at the BoF. Just to say hi!
The booking sheet will be at the BoF and from Wednesday near the rego desk.
The BlueHackers BoF is on Tuesday afternoon, 5:40pm – 6:40pm (just before the speakers dinner). Check the BoF schedule closer to the time to see which room we’re in. The format will be similar to last year: short lightning talks of people who are happy to talk – either from their own experience, as a support, or professional. No therapy, just sharing some ideas and experience. You can prep slides if you want, but not required. Anything discussed during the BoF stays there – people have to feel comfortable.
We may have some additional paper resources available during the conference, and a friendly face for an informal chat for part of the week.
Every conference bag will have a couple of BlueHackers stickers to put on your laptop and show your quiet support for the cause – letting others know they’re not alone is a great help.
If you have any logistical or other questions, just catch me (Arjen) at the conference or write to: l i f e (at) b l u e h a c k e r s (dot) o r g