Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

The open source talk that changed my life wasn’t technical

Joe Ferguson
May 19, 2018

The open source talk that changed my life wasn’t technical

The first PHP conference I ever went to changed my life. I saw Ed Finkler talking about his struggles with mental health issues. I related so well with everything he said and was shocked to find out not everyone feels this way. Come learn about Open Sourcing Mental Illness, a nonprofit built on a movement of changing how we talk about mental health in the tech community. We’ll talk about survey results from multiple years of OSMI’s Mental Health In Tech surveys showing how employees feel about discussing mental health issues with employers and coworkers.

We’ll talk about resources, where and how to find help. The most important thing is to know you’re not alone.

Joe Ferguson

May 19, 2018


  1. Who Am I? Joe Ferguson PHP Developer PHP Architect @

    Ministry Brands Twitter: @JoePFerguson OSMI Board Member Drone Racing Pilot
  2. “In all regions, neuropsychiatric conditions are the most important causes

    of disability, accounting for around one third of Years Lost to Disability among adults aged 15 years and over” (W.H.O. 2008)
  3. Do you think that discussing a health issue with your

    employer would have negative consequences? Mental Physical
  4. Would you bring up a health issue with a potential

    employer in an interview? Mental Physical
  5. Do you feel that being identified as a person with

    a mental health issue would hurt your career?
  6. -Greg Baugues “We talk about 10x developers as being a

    fairy tale, but you take a developer with crippling depression, get them to the right treatment, and they will literally be 10x more productive.”
  7. - Stories from Developers “It really sucks to have a

    brain that wants to continually sabotage you and keeps you from reaching your potential.”
  8. - Stories from Developers “I always want to go out

    and meet others in the development field, but I can't get myself to go to any of the meetups or conferences. I'd gone to one day conference but was too nervous to talk with any of the other attendees. I left feeling like an idiot for not introducing myself to anyone.”
  9. - Stories from Developers “I deal with Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    and take the same meds you do. I first noticed this condition as a teenager, and I'm almost 30 now. I'm still incredibly embarrassed about the condition and most likely will not tweet about this topic out of pure shame, unfortunately.”
  10. What can you do? Talk to your friends, colleagues Share

    the OSMI handbooks, message Tell people they matter, speak openly Get certified in mental health first aid