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Mental Health in the workplace (PHPTilburg, 09-01-2019)

Stefan Koopmanschap
January 09, 2019

Mental Health in the workplace (PHPTilburg, 09-01-2019)

The slides for the Mental Health in the workplace talk I did at PHPTilburg.

Stefan Koopmanschap

January 09, 2019


  1. Skoop in short • PHP developer since the days of

    PHP 3 (over 20 years now) • Open source contributions: phpBB, Zend Framework, Symfony, etc • Usergroups and conferences: phpGG, PHPBenelux, PHPAmersfoort, PHP.FRL • My own company: Ingewikkeld • My own event: WeCamp • I suffer from depressions
  2. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It

    affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. -- www.mentalhealth.gov
  3. Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in

    which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. -- www.who.int
  4. Mental health statistics • 1 in 5 people struggle with

    their mental health (MHFA NL, 2016) • 1 in 4 people struggle with their mental health (NAMH, 2013) • 1 in 2 people in tech have sought treatment (Finkler, 2015)
  5. Types of mental illness • Generalized anxiety disorder • Depression

    • Bipolar disorder • Psychosis / Schizophrenia • PTSD • Obsessive compulsive disorder • Borderline personality disorder • Eating disorders • ADHD • Substance abuse disorder • Burnout • Autism spectrum disorders • (and more)
  6. How to handle mental illness Photo by-nc 2.0 by Annette

    Dubois: https://www.flickr.com/photos/73689755@N06/35426175521
  7. Get rid of the stigma • Don’t make jokes about

    mental health • Be careful • Be open
  8. How to recognize mental illness? • Lack of energy •

    Lack of self-esteem • Quickly irritated • Problems with concentration / focus • Speaking about death • … and so many more
  9. How to handle mental illness • Create the right environment

    for everyone • Communication is key • Empathize • Don’t judge
  10. Create the right environment for everyone • Make clear agreements

    on work times, but be flexible • Create an open, welcoming environment • Allow remote work • Listen to feedback • Try to prevent stress • Add structure to the work day / work week • Don’t make “perfect” the norm • Don’t put too much focus on alcohol
  11. Communication is key • For managers: make clear agreements on

    expectations • Talk to each other • Don’t make jokes about: • Mental illness • Sexual preference • Looks • Other personal traits
  12. Empathize • Try to understand your colleague • Try to

    understand their needs • Even if you don’t understand, listen to their feedback
  13. Don’t judge • Try to never judge • You don’t

    know what is going on in another person’s head • Being judged may make it worse
  14. Your own mental illness • Communication is key • Structure

    • Know your boundaries • Find help within the workplace • Find help outside of your workplace • Know your rights
  15. Train your people • Each company should have a first

    aid responder for physical injuries and illnesses • Why not train at least one person in your company as a first aid responder for mental illness and mental crises? • Mental Health First Aid: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/ • The Netherlands: https://mhfa.nl/
  16. Read the books • Guidelines for Mental Wellness in the

    Workplace • Guidelines for Executives and HR professionals • Guidelines for Employees • https://osmihelp.org/resources
  17. More to check out • Nara Kasbergen – Empathy As

    A Service: https://youtu.be/5nq9aqe6vSw • Open Sourcing Mental Illness Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBF9RcJ2o56UYO3kBqdKlHg