The hacker community has lost too many people to suicide recently — Florian Hufsky, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, Len Sassaman, and surely more I don't know about. A lot of the problem is that people feel that if they talk about it, or ask for help, they'll be seen as somehow weaker.

I'd like to say that's not true. I have nothing but the deepest respect for the people who did this panel, both professionally and personally. For that matter, I too have long dealt with severe depression; it has gotten a lot better over time, but it's something I still cope with regularly.

I know that many of you and your friends have, too. Please take a moment to share this post and let your friends know — either what you've been through, or simply that you're available if they want to talk.

Like coming out about being queer, being open about this makes us as individuals and as a community stronger. It's OK to ask for help, even if you're not actively in crisis or suicidal. A lot of us have been through that, or are now; you're not alone in feeling alone. Please talk about it.

I've put up a page of helpline info at http://saizai.com/suicide.shtml for more resources, and freenode #bluehackers is a place you can hang out and talk.


Thank you +dara v, +Jimmie Rodgers, +Meredith L. Patterson, Michael Zeltner, and +mitch altman for your courage in doing this panel discussion at #28C3 about geeks and depression. It's an important topic, and I hope this helps make things get better.
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