Survey to Promote EA Mental Health

by Danica_Wilbanks 9mo13th Mar 20191 min read3 comments

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With the support of EA Spain, I’m conducting a survey to better understand EA mental health and the best ways to promote it. I encourage you to take it and distribute it to your local EA group!

Goals of this Survey

  • To assess the prevalence and severity of mental health conditions in the EA community
  • To determine members’ current access to mental health resources
  • To gauge interest in various potential EA-sponsored mental health resources
  • To analyze mental health’s effects on productivity in the EA community
  • To see how needs may vary geographically

Reasons to Conduct an EA Mental Health Study

Mental health conditions are common and widespread

A meta-analysis of mental health studies across 63 countries found:

  • On average, 1 in 5 adults had experienced a common mental disorder within the past 12 months and almost 1 in 3 within their lifetime
  • About 1 in 10 adults meet the criteria for a mood disorder at some point in their lives
  • About 13% of adults meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives

Community support can increase well-being

Mental illness creates immense suffering, but community support can alleviate its harms. Structural support has been shown to buffer the harmful effects of mental illness. The goal of this survey is to reveal the unique needs of the EA community in order to best support member well-being.

The prevalence of mental illness is often concealed

Stigma against mental illness often prevents people from seeking help. As a result, the severity of mental health issues within a group is not always apparent. Formal research and customized interventions are therefore needed to determine the prevalence of mental health conditions and proactively provide support.

Mental health and productivity

As described in Elizabeth’s Mental Health Shallow Review, mental illness can negatively impact productivity. For instance, on average, people with depression experience 5.6 hours of health-related productivity loss per week, which is significantly higher than the expected 1.5 per week in those without depression. Depression also causes people with the condition to miss about nine days of work each year. (Alonso et al., 2011; Stewart et al., 2003). For those with mental health conditions, mental illness is a cognitive load that can increase the risk of burnout and cause immense stress.

To be as effective as possible, we first have to care for ourselves and each other.

If you haven’t already, please take the mental health survey! It takes about 15 minutes to complete. I will publish an analysis of the results in the EA forum within the next two months. If you have any questions, please contact Danica Wilbanks at danica.j.wilbanks@gmail.com.

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