Starting on October 27th 2014, Geek mental help week is a week-long series of articles, blog posts, conversations, podcasts and events across the web about mental health issues, how to help people who suffer, and those who care for us.

Mental health issues are all around us. At kc web design we recently redesigned the St Andrews Healthcare website and we were truly humbled by the work that goes on there helping people with all kinds of serious mental health issues. But it’s also the little things that have an impact as well.

I don’t have a major mental health issue but I do have family members that do and I see the very real impact that has on them and the people around them. Mental health is a serious issue. But sometimes the little things, the stresses and strains of working life, of dealing with families, can have a massive impact on all of us. Many of us in the web design industry are freelancers, working long hours to carve out a living in a very competitive world. On the best days the work is fulfilling, the hours good, the money rewarding and the job satisfaction second to none. But on those hard days where you’re worried about the next job coming in, fighting with a bit of code that just won’t work, dealing with a hacked website or a server that’s broken on top of everyday life and families it can feel like you’re alone fighting against the impending greyness. It might not be full blown depression but when the hard days bite the warning signs start – lethargy, insular moods, dependance on alcohol to lighten the load, lack of motivation to tackle important problems and anger for not dealing with things better. It’s easy to get into this cycle but hard to pull yourself out. I’m not the only one though. There are others going through the same experiences.

Web designers are a giving bunch of people. I don’t think there’s another industry that gives so much. All the conferences and events and communities are testament to that. Geek Mental Help Week is an opportunity to give back to the community again and help others. After reading through some of the articles on the Geek Mental Help Week website I’m humbled by the way people talk so openly about themselves and their experiences. That’s what makes this industry so amazing and that’s how we can all help each other get through these hard times. Please, please, please head over to Geek Mental Help Week and read some of the posts, it’ll make you think differently about mental health in the web design industry and that’s a great starting point to tackle these issues. And if you can be a part of what’s happening this week and help others then do that to. Helping each other makes the world around us a little bit better for everybody. We should all do what we can to embrace that.