In the 2012/13 New Zealand Health Survey, one in six New Zealand adults (16% or an estimated 582,000 adults) were diagnosed with a common mental disorder at some time in their lives (including depression, bipolar disorder and/or anxiety disorder).
The topic of 'Mental Health in the IT Workplace' was tackled in July's Wellington WeTest Workshop. What can we do in IT for those who live with a mental illness and what can we do to help our co-workers with mental illness?
Co-organiser and Event Host Aaron Hodder started off the discussion by sharing his experiences with Social Anxiety Disorder and offered his observations on how some common practices in IT can be more difficult for those with mood disorders.
Open season covered a wide range of topics, with many participants opening up and telling their stories about their personal struggles.
Topics discussed were:
- Stress and getting help
- Taking action
- Taboos and trust in the workplace
- What we can do for our co-workers
- Discriminatory hiring practices
- Imposter Syndrome and second-guessing yourself
WeTest is looking at making this important subject an annual topic, a common theme coming out of this discussion being how common mental illness is, but how uncommon it is to talk about it.
The next WeTest Wellington Workshop takes place on Thursday 6 August with James Bach speaking on 'Test Cases Are Not Testing'.