Mental Health and Wellness in IT: Safeguarding our most precious resource
One in four Americans suffers from a mental health challenge each year. In the tech community, this number rises to 42%. In the UK that is 48%. This is a worldwide problem in the IT field. The stigma associated with discussions around mental health, as well as how it can negatively impact your work and home life, make people reluctant to discuss the topic. Now is the time to start discussing mental health in tech and how to take advantage of the opportunity to safeguard our most precious resource: people.
We’ll discuss how mental health affects job quality, including sharing examples from my professional life. We’ll discuss the four primary workplace factors which play a pivotal role in mental health challenges in the tech community. I’ll provide tips on what is best to say and not say to people you know whose lives are being affected by their mental health. Lastly, we’ll cover how to make your workplace a safe place where mental health can be talked about and how to encourage your company to offer resources to help maintain everyone’s mental health. As a bonus some times on surviving the pandemic are included at the end.
Tracy Boggiano is currently a Data Platform MVP, the 2020 PASSion Award winner, and works as a Senior Database Administrator for DocuSign. Tracy has worked on SQL Server since 6.5. She is currently a co-leader of the Triangle SQL Server User Group and Data Platform Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Virtual Group. Tracy tinkered with databases in middle school to keep her sports card collection organized and got an early start on databases.
Her passion outside of SQL Server is volunteering by advocating for abused and neglected foster children in court through the North Carolina Guardian ad Litem program. This is her favorite and most important job. She has been an Guardian ad Litem for 18+ years and advocated for over 50+ children. As someone who experienced mental health issues she has for the past two years started being a mental health advocate by being a part of the PAIMI (Protection and Advocacy of Individuals with Mental Illnesses) Advisory Council with the DRNC (Disability Rights of North Carolina). She is also Mental Health First Aide Certified.