Why a campaign for MH?
Freelancing is a great way to make a living, no doubt about that. It offers that flexible lifestyle that some even take as far as becoming "nomads", living in beautiful low-cost locations while earning their usual rates. Coaches and consultants always stress the need for positive thinking, performing at your best and being on top of everything, and that's fine when people are mentally fit. But what about those who've been manipulated or abused at home or at work? Those whose childhoods or relationships have left them unable to summon the confidence to fully believe in themselves? There needs to be a baseline level of mental fitness before we can focus on producing the work we know we can.
And then there's the issues involved in freelancing itself. Even mentally healthy freelancers are at risk of slowly sliding into feelings of solitude and stress. The situation can be compounded by the new reality of freelancing not living up to early romantic visions. Relationships can suffer, either professionally or socially, and years of career growth can be wiped off the books by just one 'slump'.
So this isn't so much about the risk of developing severe mental health issues, but their beginnings in normally healthy individuals, or a worsening of existing issues in those who were not prepared.
Friends and family might not necessarily be able to offer much support. Particularly if they see freelancing as the 'ideal' working situation. How could anything be wrong with that, right? They might even be involved in some of the issues... And freelancers might not feel like seeking professional help for early feelings of isolation or stress. Where should this support come from, then?
We need to look after each other where we can. The internet is a good medium to do this. Private, ubiquitous and used daily by all freelancers.
Through this campaign we plan to collate resources, contributed by everyone involved, to help freelancers maintain and improve their mental health.
We invite translators, writers, designers, developers, voice-over artists and anyone else who freelances or works remotely to join us.
It's time to talk about mental health for freelancers.
- Raise awareness of hidden mental health issues
- Create a resource for remote/freelance workers to be able to turn to
- Maintain an open community to help anyone in need
- To help freelancers find their MH fitness baseline
- Sign up to the newsletter in the sidebar to join the campaign.
- Subscribe to the subreddit to take part.
- Share this link with your contacts, using #MHforFL