Open source communities attract and boast passionate, idealistic people, and many of us invest copious amounts of time and effort to contribute to our projects and support our communities. This underlying emotional attachment can make us more vulnerable to elevated stress, burnout and conflicts. And then there are those of us who also manage mental illness.
More often than not, we suffer these struggles in silence, feeling (and fearing) that we’re alone in our trouble. Here, our communities can make a huge difference, by building a positive and safe environment where we can blossom and support ourselves and our peers, and feel included.
This talk will take a look at open-source communities through the eyes of various mental well-being issues and struggles, show various things that some communities already do. With this, we hope to support and inspire more communities to help foster healthy minds in a healthy environment.
Erik is the co-founder and CTO of a small Django development company in Amsterdam. Erik is deeply involved in the community around Django, a popular Python web framework, being a Django team member, chair of the Dutch Django Association and co-organiser of various conferences. Erik cares about building communities and conferences in which everyone feels welcome, valued and at home, regardless of their background. They have specific interest in well-being and ethical issues around communities and development. Some of their side projects are the Less Obvious Conference Checklist, with many less obvious suggestions for event organisers, and Happiness Packets, to spread more gratitude and kindness in open source communities.