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WP&UP Addresses the Question of Mental Health in the WordPress Community

October 26, 2019

4 Min Read
wpandup
Reading Time: 4 minutes

WP&UP is a charity created to support and help people within the WordPress community, specifically with their mental well-being. Support services also cover physical health, business mentorship, and skill development.

We all know that mental health is crucial for the overall wellbeing, and thankfully this topic is being openly discussed these days. By bringing mental health into the open, all stakeholders can do something about the challenges. And that is what WP&UP is doing.

Earlier this year, WP&UP ran the first survey, WordPress Community Mental Health and Well-Being 2019, which highlighted some alarming statistics; twice the international average of people having suicidal thoughts within the WordPress community. As many as 64 percents of all respondents stated they felt ‘mental health’ was an area in which they wanted additional support.

Not Unique to the WordPress Community

These issues are not unique to the WordPress community. Members of other dev communities also experience these challenges, mainly because of similar issues such as many hours spent working alone, remote teams, and higher levels of self-employment.

WP&UP offers a range of support and counseling services. Help and support for those who need it, whether for their mental health and well-being, or physical health. Business education and mentorship, along with skills guidance, are also available. These services are provided in a variety of ways; from our free Slack group to monitored live chat, email or phone support. Be sure to reach out to WP&UP in the format of your choice.

Many within the WordPress community work in environments that can be isolating. This can lead to situations that make it harder to reach out to peers and colleagues to just chat about things, share experiences and ask for help. Decreased social isolation for solo business owners, freelancers, and distributed team employees is a crucial focus for WP&UP. Providing a place online to “hang-out” with others, a friendly Slack group where there is someone about most of the time. It is a safe place where community members can help each other and reach out to one of the WP&UP teams for help.

#NeverGiveUP

To grow beyond its current success, October sees the launch of a campaign,  #NeverGiveUP. Watch the community video and read the story that has brought WP&UP to this point. Discover how you can help us take it further. Throughout October, stories of determination and the drive to not give up will be shared by the team and the community.

As a registered non-profit, WP&UP aims to works with brands within the general WordPress community to help deliver a free-to-end-user mental health service. To date, the team has given over 7,500 hours of support, with over 6,300 attendees registering for more than 115 in-person events. As you read this, the WP&UP community is 4,000 strong and growing rapidly.

With the current funding gap, WP&UP needs support from all industry stakeholders. WP&UP wants to work with businesses within the industry. If you think you can support, please donate today or contact the team to discuss ways of getting involved.

#HeadToWCEU

As we look forward, the team is also working hard to prepare for a 3,000 km cycle ride in May 2020. The project is called #HeadToWCEU.  It is a really long ride that would start from the WordCamp Europe venue of 2019, Berlin in Germany, and end at the 2020 site in Porto, Portugal. Why, you may well ask – to raise awareness of the work WP&UP is doing and to raise further funding to continue and grow the services.

Updates on the team’s preparations will be on the #HeadToWCEU website, with regular round-ups and news covering the project on the WP&UP blog.

So What Sort of Help Is Available?

WP&UP Support and Counselling Services (SCS) are framed around six key areas:

  • Community Support – Fast access to a wide range of advice and support
  • Peer Support – Ongoing support from a group of like-minded individuals
  • WP&UP Support – Dedicated advice whenever you feel the need
  • Companionship – Regular chat on your preferred topics
  • Mentorship – Organised steps to reach your goals
  • Counseling Education – Guidance on the types and benefits of counseling services

Community Support

The WordPress Community is a rich and vibrant place with a wealth of experience and knowledge. We continue to build upon this healthy community by delivering a free-to-access Slack team. As a part of our community support, we host 4 Slack channels, supporting the Health Hubs within WP&UP.

Peer Support

Peer support offers a more focused social interaction with a group of like-minded individuals sharing knowledge, experience and practical help with each other. Groups help their members feel more knowledgeable, confident and happy. They are known to help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.

WP&UP Support

WP&UP Support is operated by members of the WordPress community with a background in design, development, SEO, business, management and other crucial areas. Many of the members have faced high-stressed situations regularly and thus understand what you are going through. All our members are trained in Mental Health First Aid.

Companionship

Companionship offers a regular 1-to-1 interaction with a community member from a similar background. It is the opportunity to talk about anything (and everything) in an open-ended, non-task oriented way. While Companions have a level of training in identifying signs of critical mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, this channel is not designed to go deeper into mental health issues. Rather, it is more of an ongoing supportive debate on topics of your choice.

Mentorship

Mentorship is a form of training and development. It is held on a 1-to-1 basis with a member of the community who has relevant experience and background in what you would like to achieve.

Counselling Education

This service is currently in development. When live, it will offer resources to help community members who are considering offering support and therapy to fellow community members.

These services are delivered free to all members of the WordPress community.  We intend to always provide support for free, to all who need them the most.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a partner and seeing your brand across all our events and activities, we’d love to hear from you.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post contributed by WP&UP.

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Saad Khan

Muhammad Saad Khan is Growth Hacker & Content Marketing Strategist at Cloudways. He is a columnist at VentureBeat and a full stack marketing advocate. He works on business growth, influencer engagements, and innovative content strategies.

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