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Let’s face it: the tech industry can be a challenging place. Tight deadlines, long hours, and high pressure to constantly innovate can lead to burnout and stress. And unfortunately, mental health stigma can make it even harder for folks to seek the support they need. But that’s where today’s blog comes in.

Est Time: 8 Min

Share Share Share

Let’s face it: the tech industry can be a challenging place. Tight deadlines, long hours, and high pressure to constantly innovate can lead to burnout and stress. And unfortunately, mental health stigma can make it even harder for folks to seek the support they need. But that’s where today’s blog comes in.

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we’ll be talking about emotional well-being in the tech space, how to help a coworker who may be in need of support, and what to do if you yourself are struggling with mental health.


  • Pressure to constantly grow, imposter syndrome, and isolation are some ways working in the tech industry can affect your emotional well-being.
  • You can help others who are struggling with mental health by fostering a culture of openness and support, normalizing emotional conversations, and actively listening. 
  • If you yourself are struggling, taking care of yourself could mean practicing self-care, getting rest, setting boundaries, and reaching out of you need it.
  • You can call or text the National Crisis Line at 988 or chat with a Crisis Counselor Here

Mental Health in Software Development

Mental wellness struggles are not uncommon in any industry, and software development is no exception. While working in tech can be rewarding and exciting, it also comes with its own unique set of challenges that can take a toll on our emotional well-being. 

mental health statistics

One of the biggest challenges in the software development industry is the pressure to constantly grow. You need to continuously innovate while also keeping up with the latest trends and technologies. This can lead to long hours, high-stress levels, and a lack of work-life balance. 

Additionally, the nature of tech work can be isolating. For example, many tech people are working remotely, or they’re spending long periods of time sitting in front of a computer screen with little face-to-face interaction. While remote work comes with countless benefits, one downside is missing out on a sense of community thanks to a lack of in-person connections.

Another challenge is the prevalence of imposter syndrome. Many tech people feel like they don’t belong or are not good enough, despite their qualifications and accomplishments. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, self-doubt, and burnout.

So what can we do to increase mental wellness? Well, that’s what the rest of the article is for!

How to Help Someone Struggling with Mental Health 

Whether you’re someone’s boss, colleague, friend, or all of the above, you can make a big difference by just showing up for someone. Whether it’s checking in on a coworker who seems to be struggling or creating a culture of openness and support, we can help foster an environment where psychological health is a top priority. Fortunately, there are steps that employers and individuals can take to prioritize mental well-being in the software development industry. 

As a Group

If you suspect that a coworker is struggling with emotional health issues, the good news is that there are lots of ways you can help. The bad news is that due to past stigmas regarding mental health, a large portion of people don’t feel comfortable stepping up and sharing their emotional health problems. What options do you have? Let’s first look at some actions you can take on behalf of all your coworkers to create space for those that don’t feel safe speaking out. 


Acceptance all starts with your company’s culture. It’s important to foster a culture of acceptance and support, especially surrounding mental well-being. Employees need to feel comfortable seeking help without fear of stigma or discrimination. Someone won’t ask for help if they’re worried about rejection. You can create an accepting work environment by doing something as small as checking in with employees regularly, or as big as implementing policies like providing days off for mental rest or helping offset therapy costs. 

It’s also important to give your coworkers space to be themselves and have fun. You’re more likely to feel comfortable with others if you can talk about more than just work. Add some fun events to your team’s schedule; not only does it alleviate stress, but it fosters an even bigger sense of community. 

Open Conversations

You can also make someone feel supported by normalizing emotional conversations. By talking openly about mental health, you can help break down the negative associated with it. Share your own experiences, if you feel comfortable, or simply let your coworkers know that psychological health is just as important as physical health.


Another way to support the group as a whole is to talk about self-care: whether it’s blocking off time in your calendar to take a break, going for a walk outside to get away from your screen, getting enough rest outside of work, or engaging in activities they enjoy. Offer to go for a walk or grab lunch with team members, or simply check in with them to see how everyone’s doing. When you show that taking care of yourself is a priority, your teammates might be more willing to speak up and share their experiences. 

mental health walk


Now let’s switch gears: let’s say a coworker or friend comes to you and expresses they’re struggling with their emotional well-being. This is a major first step and one that is very difficult to take. How can you make sure you’re being supportive of your friend?


The first thing you should make sure you’re doing is listening. And we don’t mean just hear what they say, but genuinely hear them; be an active listener. How do you actively listen? It’s easy! Show them they have your undivided attention by looking at them and making eye contact. Pay attention to non-verbal cues, like changing tone or posture shifts. Don’t interrupt them, but let them know you’re engaged by nodding and waiting to speak once they’re done sharing. 

By listening, you let your coworker know that you’re there for them and that you care. Sometimes, all someone needs is to feel heard and understood. By just offering a kind ear and an open heart, you’ll let them know you care. 

Real Support

So we keep talking about support; what is support exactly? Depending on the situation, there may be loads of different ways to do it. For example, you could offer to help a teammate with workload or deadlines or take on a task to give your coworker a break. You could also offer to help them find resources if they’re not sure where to start.  


Finally, try to be patient and understanding. Remember that everyone’s journey with mental health is different. Some people may be more open to talking about it, while others may be more private. It’s important to respect your coworker’s boundaries and be patient as they navigate their own journey.

Remember, supporting someone who is struggling with their emotional health issues can be challenging, but it’s also incredibly important. By offering a listening ear, being supportive and empathetic, and promoting open conversations around mental health, we can create a workplace that prioritizes well-being and helps everyone thrive.

Resources if you need help

This article has so far focused on what you can do to help your teammates who may be struggling, but we haven’t yet touched on personal support. Taking care of your own mental health is something we sometimes forget, so let’s take a look at some things you can do to prioritize your own well-being.  

mental health priorities

Self-Care; Part 2

The big one we mentioned above is practicing self-care. It’s one thing to talk about it, it’s another to actually do it. The stereotype of self-care is face masks and ‘unplugging.’ And while these things can be beneficial, it doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the self-care options out there.

Self-care looks different for everyone, so it’s important to find activities that help you feel calm, centered, and at ease. What could these be? Anything, really! A quick walk during your lunch break, meditation in the morning, or reading a book to wrap up your work day. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s something you enjoy that also nourishes your mind and body.


Sleep is essential to all-around health; you can’t be physically or mentally healthy if you’re not getting enough sleep. Make it a priority to try and get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Try to establish a nightly routine to help you wind down before bed. Your mind can’t rest unless you rest, you know!

Set Boundaries

In the fast-paced world of tech, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with work and forget to take breaks. So how can you balance workload and taking care of yourself? Setting boundaries! Setting boundaries can be hard, but it’s important to let others know when you need to step away. Starting small, one example could be not answering emails outside of work hours. Then you can grow into bigger boundaries. By prioritizing time for yourself, you put your mental health first. 

Reach Out

Most importantly, reach out for help if you need it. Remember that it’s okay not to be okay, and you don’t have to go through this alone. Talk to friends, family, or a mental health professional for support. As we said above, this is the most difficult step. But there’s no shame in seeking help, and it’s a sign of strength to recognize when you need it.


For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s commit to supporting each other and prioritizing mental well-being in the tech industry. By taking care of ourselves and each other, we can work towards a healthier, happier industry for everyone. Remember that it’s okay to not be okay, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Let’s break down the stigma and create a workplace culture where everyone feels valued, heard, and supported.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please look into the below resources: 

  • Mental Health Resources gathered by Greater Louisville Inc (GLI). 
  • Call or text the National Crisis Line at 988 or Chat with a Crisis Counselor Here
  • Read about what to do if you’re experiencing a mental health crisis from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI 

Savannah is our one-woman marketing department. She posts, writes, and creates all things Slingshot. While she may not be making software for you, she does have a minor in Computer Information Systems. We’d call her the opposite of a procrastinator: she can’t rest until all her work is done. She loves playing her switch and meal-prepping.