Time to Change

Published by Matt Setchell on

I suffer from Anxiety and Depression.

I have done for some time now – a series of events including end of my marriage and other set backs has left me feeling things I never thought I would.

I got a diagnosis last year after quite a bad time of things building up. I get help now. I talk to a counsellor and have pills.

Whilst it’s not a constant thing of feeling down. It is always there. Especially the anxiety.

When you are in charge of IT over 40 schools and a growing team, and care for what you do, these feelings are often triggered by events and thoughts that happen day to day. What happens if X goes wrong, what happens if Y isn’t happy – do I need to let staff go, how can I support them through their issues?

I am not ashamed of how I feel, I’m now pretty open about it. But there is a huge need for people to be aware of how their actions might affect those who work in any job, but particularly IT.

For a start, nobody ever calls up to tell you everything is working fine. So you spend your days constantly reading tickets from people who are frustrated. It’s not personal in many cases of course, but it can feel like it is when you are so invested into what you do. Acknowledging that the person you report your IT issues too is a human and probably even more frustrated then you with any IT failures is important

You are constantly preparing for failure. Failure of equipment, of decisions, of projects and of staffing. That is your job. When things go right, it’s rare (but it absolutely does happen) to get a well done. Because that is your job. And people don’t understand it.

In 99% of our schools we haven’t lost anytime due to server outages this year, for example – right that’s expected but it’s not easy to achieve and often didn’t happen before us. Often that is quickly forgotten.

There is a well known Meme, that states

IT – everything working – why do we have them?

IT – nothing works – why do we have them?

And it’s something I can really identify with!

Of course, there is a real feeling of accomplishment when you see your tech and ideas working. Making an impact, it’s important to internalise that success in minds – but due to my anxiety I find it incredibly hard to focus on those when things have gone wrong.

That’s why Lourdes IT are supporting time to talk. It’s really important in our industry, in our teams we support each other. As a predominately male sector – we also have to be aware of male mental health. Which is hugely under reported but it is a huge huge barrier for some to progress and live happy lives proud of what they can achieve.

Lastly, you may have never suffered from Anxiety or depression – and really find it hard to understand how others can. That is okay. I struggle to understand how others feel as well. As long as you acknowledge that’s how they are feeling, and you just ask them if they are okay.

Time to change