Healthy Minds in a Healthy Community

By Sasha Romijn

Elevator Pitch

Open source communities attract passionate people. This can make us vulnerable to well-being issues, more so in people already struggling with mental health - but our communities can make a difference. We’ll look at communities and well-being and how to foster healthy minds in a healthy environment.


Open source communities attract and boast passionate, idealistic people, and many of us invest copious amounts of time and effort to contribute to our projects and support our communities. This underlying emotional attachment can make us more vulnerable to elevated stress, burnout and conflicts. And then there are those of us who also manage mental illness.

More often than not, we suffer these struggles in silence, feeling (and fearing) that we’re alone in our trouble. Here, our communities can make a huge difference, by building a positive and safe environment where we can blossom and support ourselves and our peers, and feel included.

This talk will take a look at open-source communities through the eyes of various mental well-being issues and struggles, and show various things that some communities already do. With this, we hope to support and inspire more communities to help foster healthy minds in a healthy environment.


This talk is designed for a 30 or 45 minute slot.

Recent video:

Previous attendees of this talk said:

  • “Wow, feels like Sasha has looked in to my soul and seen everything about me. Great positive advice, just hope I can follow some of it!”
  • “Your powerful, courageous and constructive talk added so much to our event.”
  • “This talk really spoke to me. I had to compose myself before introducing the next talk.”
  • “Your talk has saved lives today.”
  • “Literally tearing up because of this talk.”
  • “I really really thought I was actually alone in all these things.”
  • “The most unexpected and wonderful talk of the conference.”
  • “What an utterly astonishing perfect talk!”