Have you been affected by Mental Health issues? Would you like to talk about it and help others?
Can your organization help get the discussion going?
Are you running a conference? Get a mental health speaker at your event.
In the spirit of open source, I’d like to shine a spotlight on depression. Not because it’s easy, but because it’s important. Mental illness affects many of us, but the stigma attached to it dissuades most people from talking about it openly. That’s not how we make progress. With this talk, I want to do my part.
We need to bring depression out into the sunlight and let developers' know that it’s okay to talk about it. We need to make mental illness as acceptable as diabetes or cancer. We need depressed developers to know that they are not lazy or weak, but are suffering from a treatable medical condition.
Our community is getting better at talking about depression, but we might have a disadvantage when it comes to understanding it. It's not a puzzle to be solved, and not always something you can think your way out of. I want to show you how I came to understand what it means to have clinical depression, and the single most important thing we can do about it.
Mental illness is a hard thing to live with, and it can be incredibly lonely. It feels like nobody understands what you're going through. You wonder what parts of you are a product of the illness, and what's part of you. I want to help people talk about mental illness and build a community of understanding and support, to help people understand what they're going through. And help them know they're not alone.
I want to share my journey with accepting and dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression and how it has shaped my self-esteem and identity as a student, software engineer, and woman. We should not be suffering in silence and hiding who we are in order to succeed. There needs to be more support groups and mentorships in the classroom and in the workplace for people to open up, be vulnerable, and discover mental health resources.
Christopher Murphy is a writer, designer and educator based in Belfast. Adrian Shaughnessy, writing for Creative Review, described him as, "a William Morris for the digital age," an epithet he aspires to fulfill, daily.
The organiser of Break, a conference that 'questions the edges of design', he writes about design at Monographic and the importance of work-life balance at fsck. Informing his role as an educator, Murphy is a practicing designer whose work spans a variety of media, both analogue and digital.
Engine Yard is providing financial support to speakers, to cover the cost of flights and accommodation, and we invite our industry friends to join us.