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Mental Health in the Workplace - The Atlassian Way

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Mental health is an aspect of diversity often labeled "taboo" in the workplace. In this session, Tyler Smith, Atlassian Workplace Productivity Analyst, will discuss about how Atlassian deals with this tricky – and often extremely sensitive – topic with the love, care, and attention that it needs. Come hear how Atlassian has helped him to both cope and thrive in the workplace, despite the daily challenges he faces. Tyler has openly shared his experience with fellow employees on our internal Confluence blog, and is excited to be able to share his journey more broadly. Whether you have struggled with mental health issues first-hand, or just want to know how you can help support those who do, this talk is one you won't want to miss.

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Mental Health in the Workplace - The Atlassian Way

  1. 1. Mental Health in the Workplace - The Atlassian Way TYLER SMITH | WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY ANALYST | ATLASSIAN | @TIJOFORHIRE
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Tyler, and I have mental health issues. INTRODUCING…
  3. 3. 25% people in the world who have, are, or will suffer from mental health issues, according to WHO.
  4. 4. 2 billion
  5. 5. 500 Atlassians
  6. 6. 13/20 American families
  7. 7. Agenda My Story The Atlassian Way My Team within Atlassian What can you learn? Advocate? Advocate. How can you help?
  8. 8. My Diagnoses Bipolar Disorder Causes mood changes in a cyclic nature, sometimes for months at a time. Anxiety Disorder Causes excessive worry about almost everything, can also lead to panic attacks. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Causes heavier drops in mood during winter months.
  9. 9. My Diagnoses Bipolar Disorder Causes mood changes in a cyclic nature, sometimes for months at a time. Anxiety Disorder Causes excessive worry about almost everything, can also lead to panic attacks. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Causes heavier drops in mood during winter months.
  10. 10. My Diagnoses Bipolar Disorder Causes mood changes in a cyclic nature, sometimes for months at a time. Anxiety Disorder Causes excessive worry about almost everything, can also lead to panic attacks. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Causes heavier drops in mood during winter months.
  11. 11. My Diagnoses Bipolar Disorder Causes mood changes in a cyclic nature, sometimes for months at a time. Anxiety Disorder Causes excessive worry about almost everything, can also lead to panic attacks. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Causes heavier drops in mood during winter months.
  12. 12. TWO DAYS IN THE LIFE Wake up feeling great! No struggle to get out of bed. Easy to motivate myself. Talking to everyone in the office. Easy to hold conversation. No/ Low anxiety. Creative, motivated, energetic. Struggle to sleep, 3-4 hours sleep is not unusual. Morning Office Life Evening Night
  13. 13. TWO DAYS IN THE LIFE Struggle to wake up. Tough to motivate myself out of bed. Not wanting to talk to people. Easily frustrated. Pushing people away. Not holding conversation well. No motivation, lack of creativity. Sleep a lot. 10-12 hours is not uncommon. Morning Office Life Evening Night
  14. 14. Agenda My Story The Atlassian Way My Team within Atlassian What can you learn? Advocate? Advocate. How can you help?
  15. 15. Working for Atlassian. It changed my life.
  16. 16. Let’s talk.
  17. 17. Learning Nothing is too difficult for us to tackle. So what is the Atlassian Way? Support Validation and continuous presences. Platform Atlassian gave me the platform to raise my voice on.
  18. 18. Learning Nothing is too difficult for us to tackle. So what is the Atlassian Way? Support Validation and continuous presences. Platform Atlassian gave me the platform to raise my voice on.
  19. 19. Learning Nothing is too difficult for us to tackle. So what is the Atlassian Way? Support Validation and continuous presences. Platform Atlassian gave me the platform to raise my voice on.
  20. 20. Agenda My Story The Atlassian Way My Team within Atlassian What can you learn? Advocate? Advocate. How can you help?
  21. 21. PLAY, AS A TEAM We’re all one team in Atlassian, but there’s three for me.
  22. 22. Creating my own pseudo teams in the office. I’m alone in Amsterdam. My team are worldwide. WORKPLACE TECH AMSTERDAM OFFICE
  23. 23. Being anti-social Not wanting to talk to people when a big part of my job is talking to people. Not GSD Not everything gets done in the normal timeframes - especially if I have a lot on. Passing things on I can’t always take everything on that people need me to do - I rely on my teammates.
  24. 24. Agenda My Story The Atlassian Way My Team within Atlassian What can you learn? How can you help someone? How can you help?
  25. 25. Low stress A fast paced company doesn’t have to mean high stress. Time off Mental Health is just as important as physical health! No pressure! You’ll be used for support if you’re needed. Go public Everyone needs an advocate. Support someone to do it. Be more Atlassian!
  26. 26. Low stress A fast paced company doesn’t have to mean high stress. Time off Mental Health is just as important as physical health! No pressure! You’ll be used for support if you’re needed. Go public Everyone needs an advocate. Support someone to do it. Be more Atlassian!
  27. 27. Agenda My Story The Atlassian Way My Team within Atlassian What can you learn? Advocate? Advocate. How can you help?
  28. 28. I suffer too. What can I do? Write Writing can be cathartic and therapeutic - and help organise your thoughts. Stand up If you’re comfortable - be the change you seek, and stand up to talk about it. Disclose Make sure the people you work with know what you go through ahead of time. Inform Let the people who know about your situation - even just a courtesy - in more real time.
  29. 29. Agenda My Story The Atlassian Way My Team within Atlassian What can you learn? Advocate? Advocate. How can you help?
  30. 30. Time & Space Someone suffering needs time to figure things out and the space to do so. Don’t pressure them. Just be there if they need it. Understanding Do your research. If the person is comfortable talking to you, ask them to explain, rather than jumping to a conclusion “because Google said so”. Don’t advise There is no fix all. Every situation is unique. Every mind is unique. Psychologists spend an awfully long time studying. What can I do to help a sufferer?
  31. 31. Time & Space Someone suffering needs time to figure things out and the space to do so. Don’t pressure them. Just be there if they need it. Understanding Do your research. If the person is comfortable talking to you, ask them to explain, rather than jumping to a conclusion “because Google said so”. Don’t advise There is no fix all. Every situation is unique. Every mind is unique. Psychologists spend an awfully long time studying. What can I do to help a sufferer?
  32. 32. Time & Space Someone suffering needs time to figure things out and the space to do so. Don’t pressure them. Just be there if they need it. Understanding Do your research. If the person is comfortable talking to you, ask them to explain, rather than jumping to a conclusion “because Google said so”. Don’t advise There is no fix all. Every situation is unique. Every mind is unique. Psychologists spend an awfully long time studying. What can I do to help a sufferer?
  33. 33. FINAL THOUGHTS I’d like to leave you with some final thoughts…
  34. 34. Thank you! TYLER SMITH | WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY ANALYST | ATLASSIAN | @TIJOFORHIRE

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