Mental Health and Wellbeing in the WordPress Community

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Mental health and wellbeing in the WordPress community are topics that have been getting more attention lately, and deservedly so. The WP&UP initiative has been at the forefront of this effort. This is an introduction to their story.
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You may have noticed the orange-clad team of WP&UP at several WordCamps across Europe and the US this year – Berlin, London, Boston, Nijmegen, Bristol, St Louis Brighton – and more. You may have also listened to the weekly #PressForward Podcast, or even read some of the articles and blog posts, but what exactly is WP&UP and what does it do?

Well, WP&UP is all about you, the WordPress community. Specifically supporting your physical and mental wellbeing, your business health and your skills development. No matter what stage or skill level you are currently at. Wherever you are in the world, the team stretches across Europe and the United States, with continual growth; this is a global initiative for all WordPress professionals. And we want to ensure the help that is required, is available when needed.

How does WP&UP support you?

helping wordpress community mental health

WP&UP offers a range of services that support the WordPress community. The services are based on a triage model where we look to match the best resources for your current needs, to improve your wellbeing. We have developed a set of channels, each with different features and benefits.

Current development is being undertaken to provide counseling education services, enabling more of us to offer help and support. We also write about a wide variety of topics within the Health Hubs, all intending to help in some way. And the weekly #PressForward Podcast features interviews and shared experience from all kinds of people within the WordPress community.

The website chat facility is covered for 10 hours every week-day, with email and phone support monitored 7 days a week. This will grow as the team attracts more support for WP&UP. You can contact WP&UP here.

#NeverGiveUP – A Campaign to help the community

#nevergiveup campaign for WP&UP October 2019

And in case you’re wondering just how you can help WP&UP to support your community, Dan Maby and the team are asking for your help. Outlining how the charity has grown so far, with a frank and honest #NeverGiveUP Campaign launch post, Dan asks us all to consider giving something. All funds donated are used to help as many of us as need it.

As a registered non-profit, WP&UP looks to works with companies within our community to help deliver a free-to-end-user mental health service. To-date we have given over 7,500 hours of support, received over 6,300 attendees register, for more than 115 in-person events. The community of more than 4,000 is continuing to grow.

With the current funding gap, WP&UP needs support from those that can. We want to work with businesses within our industry. If you think you can support, please donate today or contact the team to discuss ways of getting involved.

#HeadTo WCEU – Cycling How Far?

#HeadtoWCEU 3,000km 6 countries 30 days

The team are also preparing for the next significant project next year. #HeadToWCEU will see a group of bicycle riders, supported by a safety crew, cycle from the 2019 WordCamp Europe venue in Berlin, Germany to the 2020 site in Porto, Portugal. We’ve seen a lot of interest in this project. From keen cyclists and others who want to take part in some way, and WP&UP will work with as many people as possible to enable this.

Born from a team brainstorming session at the 2019 WordCamp Europe, and inspired by Marcel Bootsman’s walk to WordCamp, the team explored the idea of traveling from venue to venue each year. This evolved into cycling the 3,000 km journey to raise awareness of positive physical and mental health within the WordPress community.

So over 30 days, a team of WP&UP riders and WordPress community members will cycle across Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, and Portugal – over 3,000 km – supported by a team from WP&UP to ensure the welfare and safety of all involved.

Why? To raise awareness of WP&UP. So we can support more of you, the WordPress community. We’re fundraising to support the more comprehensive WP&UP project and to demonstrate that over a period, making small changes to our daily routines can result in significant improvements. None of the cyclists are experienced athletes, and they all have existing responsibilities. So the whole process will be reported on with regular updates on the adjustments being made to daily physical activities and nutrition, publishing details so others can benefit and join in.

As well as posting on WP&UP’s blog and on, a dedicated podcast series is in development. Frequent videos and personal stories will be shared by the team, plus live-streams and we’re making a documentary to cover the full 30-day #HeadToWCEU event in 2020.

How you can help?

WordPress Community Mental Health Donations WP&UP

One of the simplest ways to support is by spreading the word – sharing the blog posts and the weekly podcasts from the website; tweeting about them and joining the free Slack team as part of the community there.

If you can help financially, WP&UP is a registered charity and every penny raised goes directly into the organization. Becoming a Friend of WP&UP with a donation will help impact our community positively.

Fancy joining in with #HeadToWCEU? You can register your interest today, there are many ways you can get involved. As a rider for all, or part of the journey or maybe as a volunteer to support the logistics.

You can also support the #NeverGiveUP campaign with a donation today.

What next?

What's next for WP&UP

More, basically. We will offer more of what we do, more support for more of you. Earlier this year, we ran the first WordPress Community Mental Health and Well-being Survey. The results tell us that help is needed; alarmingly, we see twice the international average of people having suicidal thoughts within our community.

All this requires funding – without donations and sponsorships, it’s not possible. We couldn’t do it, if it weren’t for the support of individuals and businesses like WPMU DEV donating and amazing sponsors such as GreenGeeks helping us. These are companies and people who appreciate what is needed and believe in what WP&UP is doing.

Read more about WP&UP’s support here:

And to make a donation, please visit:

Alex Juchniewicz

Alex is on the partnerships team at WP&UP where he talks to companies about the mission of supporting & promoting positive mental health within the WordPress community. He’s always had a passion for other people, relationships, and being open about his story dealing with mental health and how he has navigated it.

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