Take time for your mental health - WP&UP

Take time for your mental health

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Do you set aside time to look after your mental health? Do you feel buried underneath huge amounts of work, clashing deadlines or moving targets? Working in the fast-changing communications and web world can mean a culture of always-on and feeling you can never escape.

Starting from World Mental Health Day (10 October 2018), we are encouraging developers, content writers, designers and all those in the web space to plan time this and every month to foster positive mental health approaches.

In a 2018 survey by WP&UP, a charity set up to support the WordPress community, 64 per cent of respondents said they felt ‘mental health’ was an area in which they wanted additional support.

64% of those in the survey said they wanted additional support in the area of mental health

WordPress.org is a free and open-source Content Management System (CMS) and platform, powering 30.7% of the top 10 million websites globally (at time of publication). This project is supported by a global community of individuals and businesses.

In 2017, the Office of the National Statistics (ONS) recorded 64,000 web design and development professionals in the UK alone. The US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) reported 266,300 web professionals.

Dan Maby, CEO of WP&UP, said:

“With this change in working patterns and environments, we are seeing an increase in people from the global WordPress community openly acknowledging they are experiencing mental health issues linked to isolation.

“WP&UP recognises the challenges, not only for those trying to run their own businesses, but also from all the related activities which can contribute to the onset of mental ill-health.”

How can WP&UP help you?

Four Health Hubs have been set up to help tackle these issues. They will focus on in-person events, training, mentorship, support services and coaching.

  • Skills Health
  • Business Health
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health.

Dan Maby emphasised: “All four areas are equally important to support a well-balanced member of the WordPress community.”

Promoting mental health in MeetUps

Could you include a session to promote positive mental health in your local WordPress MeetUp?

This could be setting aside 15 minutes for tea and cake for attendees who would like to share tips or approaches they have used or come across to improve their mental health. We suggest this should be done in a safe and non-judgemental environment and in line with the WordPress community’s Code of Conduct.

Let us know if you want any information about WP&UP to share at your local events.

We are also collating resources on promoting positive mental health in the web community.

Useful resources

  • Tips on looking after your mental health (link opens in new window)
    World Mental Health Day videos, interviews and tips for everyday living and staying well from the MIND charity.
  • Mental Health Foundation resources (link opens in  new window)
    The Mental Health Foundation has a number of resources which can support the WordPress community. The publications include: ‘Look after your mental health’, ‘Overcome fear and anxiety’, ‘How to support good mental health at work’ and ‘Sleep better’.

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Abha Thakor

Abha works in web, marketing and digital as a project manager, journalist and communications practitioner. She is involved in research on participation and digital, and is a member of WordCamp and WordPress MeetUp organising teams. She is an advocate for continuous professional development and is involved in campaigns to support adult-learning in IT, web and digital. Twitter @NonStopNewsUK

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Abha Thakor
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