What is the project about?
The project aims to improve the well-being of open-source communities by focusing on mental health and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). The project will specifically focus on the well-being of the Galaxy community, while also creating resources that could be applicable to any open-source community.
The plan is to create awareness around mental health issues, provide the communities with the resources they need for their well-being, and build a diverse community where everyone feels included regardless of their abilities, identities, status in the project, and other factors. This will consist of clear and accessible information on mental health, as well as providing resources for tracking and dealing with mental health and well-being issues.
Why is this project important?
Currently, there are different challenges faced in open-source communities that play a role in overall mental health and well-being such as:
- Accommodating different work styles and expectations
- Working in different time zones
- Lack of representation and inclusion for people coming from diverse backgrounds or marginalized groups, among other factors.
All these factors contribute to an increase in the pressure on community members that impacts their mental health, which is not adequately addressed and needs to be emphasized for the well-being of open-source communities.
Maintaining positive mental health and well-being is critical for maintaining positive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It boosts self-esteem, improves the quality of life, helps build and sustain positive relationships, instills optimism and a sense of mastery and coherence, and the ability to cope with stressors.
What are the expected outcomes for the project?
Creating Awareness and Culture
One of the aims of this project is to create awareness in the Galaxy community, in particular, and open-source communities, in general, to improve mental health and well-being. It aims to create a culture where everyone feels welcomed and included and are able to share their experience freely and openly.
A guideline will also be developed to address different topics concerning mental health, considering DEI factors. The guideline will help the community members prevent mental health problems that are detrimental to one's well-being, promote one's mental health and provide resources and solutions to manage problems arising from mental health issues, Lack of DEI, and common problems faced in open-source communities. The guideline will be developed through conducting desk research on, but not limited to, open-source communities, well-being, mental health, and DEI. Primary data will also be collected to identify the current issues, in which the results will help us come up with suitable solutions to approach the issues at hand and tailor it to the open-source community.
Mental health self-assessment tool will also be provided for anyone who wants to assess their mental health and well-being and track their progress through time.
What can you do to contribute now?
We are currently collecting data on open-source communities to help us understand the different challenges faced in the communities as well as the communities' perception and knowledge of mental health to develop solutions or provide resources to address those issues. We have prepared two versions of a survey: one for the Galaxy community to tackle the specific challenges (if any) and another one for the broader open source community to help us develop a guideline that could be adopted by any community. We’d appreciate it if you could share your experience by filling out or sharing the survey form. The Galaxy community survey could be accessed here whereas the survey for any open source community could be accessed here.
Come embark on this amazing journey with us where we create a Galactic blog series to demystify the basic concepts, debunk the myths and stigma surrounding mental health and well-being while creating a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environment in open source.