Tháng Một 26, 2021

AlterConf San Francisco 2015 – Overcoming Mental Heath Hurdles at Work by Madalyn Rose Parker

so hi Madeline and I'm going to be talking to you guys about my experience with overcoming mental health hurdles at work a little about me I feel so fortunate that I have been able to turn my passion into a career my passion is problem solving I've looked puzzled

when seeking out new information for as long as I can remember I've been programming since high school and graduated with a degree in computer science and December 2013 for the past year I've been working as a front-end developer for olark live chat I listed my contact information here

so if you feel like anything in my talk resonates with you or you just want a new connection don't hesitate to reach out to me I have two rabbits in a cat who gives me constant sources of smiles during my rough periods I'm going to put them on

screen while I'm talking about things that are hard for me to say and that way you'll see that my rabbits fellowships and Toby and my cat Theo are on the screen I've lived with anxiety for as long as I can remember for the most part it didn't really

affect my life much until high school when I started experiencing panic attacks my condition worsens through college incorporating a depression component and by my fourth year I was on prescribed medication and seeing a therapy therapists bucks a week he's helped immensely but I barely made it to graduation

I spent much of my time either exhausted and unable to concentrate fix to anxiety induced insomnia or two hun feats interact with my surroundings let alone absorb college this was so strange to me someone who had spent the majority of childhood with my nose in a book thirsty

for new information I was always a high-functioning type-a personality and now that part of myself had taken a big step back despite these struggles I somehow managed to land my dream job just after graduation I fell during the first six months of my new job I soaked up

information through myself and to implementing new features and fixing bugs I made great work relationships and felt comfortable and well supported with my colleagues I was living the life I had been dreaming of during those dark college days and then my medication stopped working so this was my

posting on a depression forums from jun 2014 when i started noticing my mental health having a significant impact on my work and i'm just going to read that word for word this is my first real job out of college and i absolutely love the work i do as

well as my colleagues however I still feel useless and listless all I have energy and motivation to do is sleep I can easily sleep 18 + hours a day some days I knock things out of the park I make it to work get tons done help me Chuck

how others etc most days I feel like a waste of space I'm a domestic space where I don't like myself at all I don't feel good I feel detached and empty I spent the majority of what little energy i have no will or interested eating either I'm trying

my best to pretend that everything is fine I don't want my colleagues to think that I don't like or care about my job it's literally perfect I don't like how little I've been able to come accomplished lately how can I have an honest and frank discussion with my

superiors about my mental state still have them trust me to get things done and value me as an employee I'm feeling so lost here and this job is seriously the best thing I have in my life what do i do and i didn't get the response that i

really wanted the overwhelming response this post was essentially don't do it you could get tired well I did it anyway after looking at lark and determining that it is probably unlike other places that might let the stigma of mental illness effective treatment of employees I decided to approach

one of our founders Matt who's here I'm gonna complain there and I did this outside of honey depressive episode so I felt I had a handle on things and I felt comfortable talking about my struggles and somewhat past tense this interaction set the precedent for all other experiences

I've had with sharing my obstacles of my colleagues I brought it up someone casually as it's difficult to admit these kinds of problems to people when you were so used to internalizing them I explained my English over my technical performance and how passionate I was about my job

Matt will be mentioned my performance at all the conversation was quickly focused on my well-being and health and lurex willingness to work with me during my fellow points the title of this slide you told your boss of West it's inspired by my mother's reaction to my telling her

I came clean about my struggles with one of the founders she was absolutely horrified that i would put myself at risk for marginalization it says a lot of reassuring her that my case was different art Oxford an internal open conversation about mental and emotional obstacles Matt another co-worker

and I presented on our experiences with burnout bipolar disorder and anxiety and depression respectively we talked about what we go through what it looks like in the outside so it would be easier for our colleagues to it for what might be happening we set our behavior how to

be helpful during episodes and different treatment options Matt also did some work on Alex policies on medical leave to explicitly includes mental and emotional problems and if you'll see one of the slides that he made where it says mental health and emotional struggles are treated like any other

illness because that is what they are when I started feeling really motivated to talk to alerts about the quality of work I was putting out during depressive episodes I relied on a few observations i invade about my work environment to give me the confidence to come forward with

my personal problems and these were the vibrant internal culture flexibility and a focus on people's park is a strong company focus on internal culture they want their employees to feel happy and balanced this is best demonstrated through cool Earth's core values these are guidelines that everyone lives by

at work but help foster the supportive and pathetic empowering atmosphere that I've come to go in love and here they are the first is chill out it reminds us to take time and enjoy the greater things in life and that when things go wrong no lives are on

the line we can breathe easy next to help each other there's an emphasis on growing adventure and keep the teammates around you and pushing them to reach their goals next is assumed good faith remind yourself that we are all pushing to make this awesome even though we have

different ideas about how to get there next is make it happen broken fix it opportunity season take initiative this one's my favorite practice empathy truly make the effort to listen and understand be curious learn the why not just the why and lasses speak your mind be willing to

say what you're thinking know that this is a safe space to express yourself and your concerns these comes through constantly during my work days on Mondays during our team meeting we start with a kudos section where we mentioned things others during the week that we appreciate it during

code reviews or project meetings everyone's voices are heard without losing sight of our common goals my internal presentation on mental health was not with nothing but support from my colleagues next is flexibility flexibility at work is something that I've always used is a good indicator of companies who

care about their employees productivity isn't attained by some one size fits all environments my needs change day to day even some days I need to sit at a desk in the office with other people to energize and motivate me other names my anxiety prevents me from Julie interacting

with people and I work best in bed with the cast to be older it gives me the freedom to choose which hours I work and where I worked them if I'm sick I don't have to feel guilty about taking that time off I knew from the start they

cared about giving employees lots of opportunities to customize the work environment and achieve a healthy work-life balance they even have a vacation offensive rewarding employees for taking a consecutive work we completely off the grid to prevent burnout I think this deviation from strict work practices show's over support

of individualism and creativity and shows its recognition that work-life balance is important these policies encouraged me to take care of myself and made me feel that they genuinely want to need to feel well and do well and I've got pictures of how i said my week off the

grid at a music festival in Washington and then an example of f homework and me and the author we're all its flexibility and internal culture were no brainers when I was thinking of things that may be comfortable enough to share such personal details of my life their focus

on people is something I recognized after the fact as a factor in my decision we've been working really hard to crab commission statement lately and all of the language is tightly focused on people both inside and outside of our organization I knew that the company cared about me

personally based on my previous observations with the realization that whole extra guard could be generalized to polar cares about people really made me feel safe the mission we're working on listings like creating happy customers by empowering customers and businesses honestly hear and understand each other creating a safe

space to speak listen to empathize and build each other up and enriching the communities around us and now you'll see that my cat just as a taco and my rabbit are back on the screen to be honest writing this talk has been extremely difficult for me right now

I amidst one of the longest and most severe depressive episodes I've experienced I by no means claim to be an authority on mental health or overcoming its effects I've spent a large portion of this past year you like disconnected from the world hollow and apathetic I stopped getting

out of bed eating and sleeping for weeks at a time I removed myself from social social situations including interactions with my co-workers friends and even family I stayed up to the wee hours is the morning group site anxiety unable to sleep or move or think I'm struggling with

Elvis just as the flu prevent me from completing my work so do my depression and anxiety I have gotten to a place where I feel comfortable sharing my experience and letting people know when I've not doing well I have shirin that source of stress and no longer worry

about others especially at my job thinking I don't care or don't like what I'm doing it feels so good to know how well supported I am at work and that I really do have the power to make things happen after repeatedly being told to keep my problems to

myself for fear of discrimination it's good to note that it actually is possible to be open about mental health even at work and have healthier relationships and less stress for it that's all thank you you

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