On our resources page we have added a new organization, OSMI (Open Sourcing Mental Illness). The organization was created to raise awareness and educate the tech community about mental wellness issues within the tech community and software development industry.
By raising awareness of mental wellness issues in the industry, OSMI is aiming to get developers and companies talking about how to help those who suffer from mental illness. Part of their efforts at raising awareness are talks at various conferences. The availability of the videos online is a great tactic to get more people talking about these issues that affect many more developers than we think. We have heard about burn out and sometimes we talk about stress at work at the water cooler (or chatroom-equivalent) but developers typically do not discuss this openly in the office or at meetups and other social events with other developers.
Through their work, we hope that more companies treat mental wellness seriously and take care of their developers. We hope that developers become aware that they can seek help and counseling without fear of losing their jobs.
OSMI has previously conducted research in 2014 on Mental Health in Tech, one of the largest surveys done so far with over 1000 responses.
Their guidelines on mental wellness in the workplace are excellent. We are very happy that they use the term “mental wellness” and the guidelines are a great way to start developing and implementing policies to help employees with mental wellness issues. The list of example accommodations are a starting point for organizations and many of them are excellent and could be implemented quickly.
OSMI has kindly provided links to other sites and organizations and resources that can be used by developers who need help or want to help when it comes to mental wellness issues in the software development industry:
- Prompt – talk about mental wellness issues, raising awareness through presentations and conferences
- Greg Baugues presentation on Developers and Depression
- BlueHackers.org – raising awareness and a place to talk about depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder; they have an IRC channel on freenode (#bluehackers)
- Burnout.io – steps on how to fight burn out and how to recover from burn out