Washington D.C. January 30, 2016
Is it all in your head?

In a given year, more than 1 in 4 all adults will suffer from a diagnosable mental illness in the United States. Roughly speaking, that’s about 1 million people in our industries combined.

Everyone’s situation is different. But regardless of whether or not people decide to get help, mental health professionals will all agree that constant, pervasive self-care is not just a necessary part of becoming stable and well, but is essential for prevention. This topic is important to me for a few reasons: 1) before working as a designer, I studied mood disorders as a PhD student, 2) this industry often does not give people the space for genuine self-care, so 3) not only is it preventing some of its people from giving their best work, but it’s jeopardizing others, too.

This talk isn't necessarily about mental health stigma, or whether we should be more vocal about mental illness in the workplace (though we really, really should). It’s about taking a look at the ways that the industry defines self-care, and how it clashes with the steps that people living with mental illness or at risk of it need to take in order to get well or remain well.