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Cultivating a diverse and inclusive workspace is an important part of Red Hat’s open culture. That’s why we work to create an environment where associates feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work every single day. One way we achieve this mission is by making sure that Red Hatters who wish to share their mental health experiences, are met with compassion and understanding, but most importantly, without stigma. It is estimated that one in four adults suffers from mental illness every year. With 95+ offices in 35 countries, this is a reality that Red Hat cannot ignore.
To bring greater awareness, Red Hat participated in World Mental Health Day on October 10. Following the lead of the Neurodiversity D + I Community, more than 20 of our largest offices globally collaborated to host more than 40 in-person and remote participation events, which included flagship events in Raleigh, Singapore, Pune, Farnborough, and Brno. Red Hat executives, healthcare professionals and subject matter experts applied their knowledge about mental health by leading panel discussions and giving informative talks.
The events included topics like work/life balance, stress reduction, and postpartum depression. Associates gathered to share coffee and treats, draw and paint, experience the warmth and love of Free Mom Hugs, and reap the rewards of mindfulness following guided meditation sessions.
The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day was suicide prevention. According to the World Health Organization, every 40 seconds another person loses their life to suicide. There are 16,000,000 suicide attempts every year. Approximately 800,000 of those attempts result in death.
Suicide not only impacts the individual but their family, friends, colleagues, and community. That is why Red Hat is working to create safe spaces for associates to ask for help when needed, feel empowered to share their stories, and educate others along the way.
Though World Mental Health Day is over, we encourage our associates and readers to continue increasing their knowledge about suicide prevention, and reducing the stigma around mental health.
If you or someone you know is feeling sad, lonely, hopeless or suicidal, there is help. Wikipedia has an international list of suicide crisis hotlines that may be helpful.
This year’s World Mental Health Day activities at Red Hat were organized by the Neurodiversity Community. This group of Red Hatters works to empower associates to contribute their unique perspectives through a supportive community. This community seeks to provide development opportunities, educate others, and engage with the neurodiverse community beyond Red Hat.