I have been thinking for some time about ‘web workers’ who work either as a lone freelancer or in a small team. The support of colleagues often isn’t there and this can lead to all sorts of worries/depression when things aren’t going to plan.
Without mentioning names, I know of 4-5 people who are very publicly reaching out for help as they are struggling with something. This worries me - it is no secret that creative minds are prone to mental illness & depression. Sometimes we all just need to know that somebody is watching out for us. This could be a small problem such as loneliness, insecurity or even worse it could be something far more tragic.
As a lot of ‘web workers’ are lone freelancers, a family tragedy can have a huge impact on their productivity/income/health. There are individual insurances for such things but we don’t have (and I don’t think we should have) any sort of union or professional body.
I suppose what I am proposing is a charity or a not for profit kind of organisation where a committee meet remotely once a month to identify cases in which people just need a helping hand. This could be something as simple as a ‘keep your chin up’ greeting card, a bunch of flowers, or in extreme cases, financial aid. It is always nice to know that people are looking out for you.
As a conference organiser, I would be willing to donate a proportion of my profits to such a cause - hopefully we could get other conference organisers to do something similar. I am not talking huge amounts of money, most of the time a little thought and time is all that is required to remind people going through a hard time that they are not alone.
I know we have UKWDA but they don’t really seem to do much, except collect subscriptions. Maybe this could be something similar with ‘members’ paying a tiny subscription into a pot - or maybe this relies entirely on donations - I don’t know.
This is just an idea at the moment - I wonder if you have any thoughts on the matter? Comments : https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7530205