Mental Health Hackers Village

The Layer 8 conference is excited to be partnering with the Mental Health Hackers!

Thank you to Amanda Berlin (@InfoSystir) and the rest of the board at Mental Health Hackers for agreeing to come to the Layer 8 conference.


Stephanie Ihezukwu (@StephandSec) – How to Crash and Burn…and then Recover!
Mental Health and Wellness is an under-discussed topic in the tech community, though many of us suffer from some form of mental illness or another. With highly stressful jobs and the pressure to stay abreast of every new technology, sometimes, our mental health can take a nosedive. I’ve been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. I will teach you how to crash and burn, but also how to recover successfully. By discussing the years I personally spent undiagnosed and working in the industry, to my diagnosis and also explaining how I began the journey to healing myself and moving forward, I will spend the session sharing my story and providing tips and tricks for managing depression and anxiety, including programming Alexa or Google to help intervene when you’re going through a depressive or anxious spell. I will discuss therapy, meditation, routines, exercise, eating properly, protecting your energy and learning how to learn yourself, which can be half of the battle. With resources I’ve actually used and ones that friends of mine have used, I will equip attendees with tools that they can use in their own life if they are apprehensive about beginning their own relationship with a mental health professional. You may have crashed and burned, but you can recover and continue living.

Miki Demeter (@theDawgCr8) – One Year of Effecting Change from the Inside
In today’s world of divisiveness, open bigotry, and hate rhetoric it is easy to stand back and shout at the world that this is wrong. I came to the realization that I was the only one listening and this accomplished nothing. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and see what I could do to effect real change. When I embarked on my plan to quit yelling at the world around me and become involved, to actually try to make the changes I wanted to see come to fruition, I had no idea how emotional the journey would be – or how the many people I worked with would come to mean so much to me personally. This talk shows exactly how we can Believe and Achieve Together.

Dr. Denise A. Valenti – Marijuana, Cannabis, Cannabinoids and Cognition
Marijuana is now legal for adult use in many parts of the country. Like alcohol, marijuana can be used without negative consequences. But, like alcohol it takes education and experience to prevent the drug from impacting performance or contributing to an unsafe situation. This presentation will review the limited research related to human sensory and cognitive impact of acute use of marijuana. Further the talk will address the issue of medicinal marijuana and the workplace.

Patrick McNeil (@Unregistered436) Zhan zhuang: Standing meditation for health and stress relief
Zhan zhuang is an internal Kung Fu meditation practice translated as “Standing Like A Post”. It focuses on breathing, relaxation, and mental exercises to reduce stress and focus the mind. Standing still sounds easy, but quieting the mind and actually DOING it for more than five minutes can be much harder than most people anticipate! I’ll focus on some beginner strategies for quieting the mind and getting into a state of self-relaxation.