Community Management and Mental Health

Today we’re discussing mental health, self-care and resources for Community Managers who may be dealing with communities in crises. We are not mental health experts and if you need immediate care please, please, reach out to a friend, family member or mental health professional. At the bottom of this post is a list of hotline numbers if you or a member of your community has expressed thoughts of self-harm.

John Wallin
Nov 10, 2022
 minutes to read
Community Management and Mental Health
November 10, 2022

The last few days have been exceptionally difficult for a lot of members of our community, and for communities across the web3 space. The FTX saga, and Binance’s decision to pull out of a potential rescue deal, sent the entire industry into freefall. Solana has not been spared with the crypto currency hitting a one-year low ($12.62) at a price not seen since Spring 2021. Many of our closest collaborators are built on Solana and our project is backed by Solana Ventures. As we continue to build and collaborate with you, we wanted to take a moment to provide you with support. 

Here is a list of International Mental Health Helplines

It’s Ok To Not Be Ok

In the web3 space, there is often too much insistence that fear and doubt are bad for projects. Maintaining a positive outlook can certainly be helpful, but it isn’t a realistic way to participate in a community. Kindness, empathy and understanding are as fundamental to successful communities as shared vision and collaborative building. That means acknowledging that it’s ok to not be ok. Given the massive losses in crypto value, collapse of coins and platforms, and projects rugging it is ok to be mad.

Even if you’re not directly impacted financially, your feelings may be adversely impacted by increased negativity, concern for friends and community members or other pressures. As leaders in your spaces it is not just ok but important to acknowledge these impacts. If you are able, you are in a positive position to check in on your community, tag people you haven’t seen this week, or host a special audio event so community members hear friendly voices and have a chance to check in themselves. Especially give love to people that you have an online relationship with; we will make it through this.

Take time to touch grass: provides a good sheet for achieving an online/offline balance.

Self-Care and Avoiding Burnout

At times like this, you may feel like you need to work even harder - answer every post in Discord, address every concern raised on social media, never stop never stopping. CMs already experience a high rate of burnout, and recent events can take an additional toll on your time and mental health.

Discord’s moderator academy provides a good checklist for identifying when you’re burning out: If you know yourself well enough, you can probably tell when something is bothering you. You notice that you only really check the staff channels when there is a ping. Your account may be in the server and your name on the member list, but you’re no longer an active community member. At this point burnout has set in. There may be the urge to come in every day and give 100% but then you run the risk of giving too much, too quickly. You start to dread the amount of work necessary to do your part and eventually start to taper off.

If you’re in this position, talk to your team, get support and schedule AFK time. If you're not experiencing burnout yourself, checking in with other moderators and managers on your team to provide support for others who may need to take some time away.

Talk About It

Running a Discord as a Community Manager or Moderator can often feel like a sacrifice you’re making for the community. The work you put in is, at its best, part of a virtuous cycle where you  moderate a set of community expectations which cultivates users, who in turn reflect the community values. Those users evolve into community leaders/moderators, which strengthens and grows the community. 

This week, one thing you can do is evaluate your Discord and create two new channels. The first is a #mental-health channel. Be open, provide a place for people to share their story. Support dialogue about periods in life when members of the community have felt depressed, upset, helpless or anxious. Make it clear to anyone listening that you believe mental stress can happen to anyone and it's important to seek help. 

Taking this initial step is an offer to help others. Sometimes, people struggle to recognize when they need help, or know they want help but don't know where to turn or what to do. 

The second channel to consider is an off-topic topic that makes you happy. Food, sports, pets, gifs, music, favorite films, books or television. It really doesn’t matter - as long as it’s a channel you want to be active in, and where there is nothing expected or related to the project at hand. You’ll create a space to stay connected to the community, but give yourself a respite from the work at hand to share different experiences and opinions. 

Remember: you don’t have to wait until you’re struggling to tend to your mental health.

Practice What We Preach

Fun Country is adding Koko's Kokocares /vent bot to our Discord. This is a simple, free way to help address a healthier Discord. We aren't advocating for any one particular approach, but by adding this Discord /vent bot we are providing an additional safe, healthy place for our community to address their concerns.

It's free, and you can find it here.

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If you or anyone in your community has expressed thoughts of self-harm, please reach out to one of these numbers sourced via /reddit's Suicide Prevention bot:

Suicide Hotline Numbers If you or anyone you know are struggling, please, PLEASE reach out for help.

You are worthy, you are loved and you will always be able to find assistance.

Argentina: +5402234930430 | Australia: 131114 | Austria: 017133374 | Belgium: 106 | Bosnia & Herzegovina: 080 05 03 05 | Botswana: 3911270 | Brazil: 212339191 | Bulgaria: 0035 9249 17 223 | Canada: 5147234000 (Montreal); 18662773553 (outside Montreal) | Croatia: 014833888 | Denmark: +4570201201 | Egypt: 7621602 | Finland: 010 195 202 | France: 0145394000 | Germany: 08001810771 | Hong Kong: +852 2382 0000 | Hungary: 116123 | Iceland: 1717 | India: 8888817666 | Ireland: +4408457909090 | Italy: 800860022 | Japan: +810352869090 | Mexico: 5255102550 | New Zealand: 0508828865 | The Netherlands: 113 | Norway: +4781533300 | Philippines: 028969191 | Poland: 5270000 | Russia: 0078202577577 | Spain: 914590050 | South Africa: 0514445691 | Sweden: 46317112400 | Switzerland: 143 | United Kingdom: 08006895652 | USA: 18002738255

You are not alone. Please reach out. I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically.

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