Grants:Project/Mental health within the community

statusnot selected
Mental health within the community
summaryI want to find out what we already know, but don't share, about mental health issues, on-wiki stress, and ways to deal with them
targetplease add a target wiki
amountUSD 11,949.88
developerDoc Taxon
this project needs...
created on18:07, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
round 1 2016

Project idea


What is the problem you're trying to solve?


In any community as large as the Wikipedia and Wikimedia communities there are bound to be people with mental health issues. Stress is an important factor for all mental health related problems. We need to find out more about what users we have with what kind of mental and emotional styles and challenges. And we need to talk about, how to help us all deal with these issues.

What is your solution?


I want to do two things:

  1. Find out, what chapters and other groups as well as individuals around the world already know about those issues. There is a lot of jokes and anecdotes about mental health issues, there are some individual blogs (for example on the issue of autism and Wikipedia), but did anybody collect any reliable data? Are there any programs or plans how to deal with mental health issues in any of the communities? Are there any specialists on mental health employed anywhere by Wikimedia projects? Is there anything like best practice examples?
  2. Develop a training for stress management especially for volunteers on the Wikimedia projects. I do have knowledge of stress management through my work as a social worker and trauma counselor. I have often thought of applying my professional knowledge to an project like this. As I see it at the moment, a number of slides with general information would be the first step, following by a module-system, where users can choose their own program suited to their preferences and strengths.

Project goals

  1. Find out more about the state of the wiki on mental health and create a page that can be updated continually.
  2. Develop an easy to use and easy to distribute free licence stress management program that is linked from as many Wikimedia-Projects as possible.

Get involved



  • Designer Would love to join and support this amazing and important project. Freddy2001 talk 18:44, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Developer I want to support this great idea with research and development of scripts about the topic and some statistics. Doc Taxon (talk) 06:27, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Project plan



  1. Concerning the research we first will formulate standards of ethics for this kind of research and develop two or more sets of questionnaires. We will than send mails with one questionnaire to all chapters, thematic organizations and user groups, to ask what knowledge they have or which people they know of within the movement, who might have knowledge about mental health issues. In additon we will post onwiki on pages like the Village pump or Kurier to ask users, who have any knowledge about those issues to contact us. We will gather and sort this information, possibly organize translations and publish what we have learned onwiki. We will then go on to develop plans on how to go on with the research from there.
  2. We first will sort through known programs and techniques for stress management and decide on which methods are suited for an online training. Then we will start to adapt the useful methods to wikistyle. We will place special attention to make sure the training modules are compatible to other training modules that are being developed by the support and safety team, like the planned training modules to address harassment.


Number Category Item description Unit Number of units Cost per unit Total cost Currency Notes
1 Travel & lodging Travel costs to hold four team meetings face to face Travel & lodging 4 times per year $237.50 $950.00 USD Estimate based on current exchange rates, train fares in Germany, lodging in simple Hotel in Munich. Estimate based on current team members and distance between them. Costs may increase with time, but might also be lower, if we find special offers.
2 Researcher and developer stipend Researcher developer stipend Stipend 8 hours per week for 12 months $25.00 per hour $10,400.00 USD Stipend to cover research and work development of the stress management tool.
3 Software Adobe Illustrator / InDesign Stipend 12 months $599.88 per year $599.88 USD Design software necessary for the development of the stress management tool. Since our designer is still student, we will look for special offers for students. If we can get one, costs will be lower.
total sum per year $11,949.88 USD

Community engagement


We will share progress and difficulties and ask for support on several channels: onwiki on Village pump or Kurier, through the IRC chat #wikipedia-de of the German language version, Facebook, but also by asking for direct help from people, if we need it. I hope to attend Wikimania 2017 as well as the German WikiCon 2017 and give reports on the progress and first results of the project there. I'd be delighted to be invited to other WikiConferences in 2017 or the following years and present progress or results.


  1. The research will hopefully give an overview of where the communities stands on the issue of mental health. With this overview more detailed research can be planned and first steps to solving problems might be visible. It might result in more research projects, but hopefully also in practical plans for dealing with health issues onwiki. The results will be presented on a page, that is easy to update in a way that changes can be documented in the future.
  2. The Stress Management Training will be available on Commons or Meta, translations to other languages will be encouraged and the material will be promoted in the projects in articles in mediums like the local village pumps, but hopefully also by the chapters and user groups. Links to the Training Modules form all Wikimedia-Projects will be encouraged.

Measures of success

  1. We will have contacted all 41 Wikimedia chapters, the one existing thematic organization, and all 64 user groups. Hopefully at least a third of the contacted organizations will answer and point us to an average of 2 individuals who have knowledge we can use. We will have contacted all those individuals, we are being directed at, as well as some others, that have contacted us on different channels. All in all we will be successful, if we have contacted around 50 individuals in addition to the Wikimedia organziations. A thorough documentation of our findings will be online here on meta, including a list of useful contacts for further research. Links from at least 10 Wikimedia projects to the documentation will be online on appropriate pages. The documentation will have a pageview of at least 10 views per month in the year following the research.
  2. The Stress Management Training Tool will be online in German and English on Meta with links to it from at least 10 Wikimedia projects. It will have a pageview of at least 100 views per month in the year following the creation of it.

Project team

  • Kritzolina is an administrator on dewiki. She has given a presentation on the Wikimania 2016 on the subject of "Wikipedia addiction and its Comorbidities" [1]. She works as a social worker and trauma counselor with people with a wide range of psychiatric problems.
  • Freddy2001 is a regular contributor to commons and dewiki, who contributes and works with photographs, maps and logos.
  • Doc Taxon is an administrator on dewiki, who runs several bots there and is very active in the library research there.

Community notification


Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?


  1. I, appreciate! ~ Moheen (talk) 18:45, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
  2. it's a great idea! And so very important ... Doc Taxon (talk) 19:14, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
  3. important topic, could be beneficial to both the project and all its users, regardless of grade of affection. --Wuselig (talk) 19:31, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
  4. A great and important idea! -- Freddy2001 talk 20:56, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
  5. Maximum difficult subject! But great idea! Thank you Kritzolina for that! And all the best for the project and us all! --Andrea014 (talk) 05:28, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
  6. I often support brilliant ideas like this. Wikicology (talk) 09:46, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
  7. This is very important! --Jaqen (talk) 16:33, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
  8. It is a very needed work to do. Excelent idea! I can help you, just ask me. Jaluj (talk) 14:28, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
  9. --Gnom (talk) 07:57, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
  10. Gordo (talk) 13:48, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
  11. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 17:37, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
  12. --Itti (talk) 20:27, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
  13. This is a great idea and it is really important to know the mental health of the community. Sailesh Patnaik (Talk|Contribs) 21:24, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
  14. a great idea DCB (talk) 20:37, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
  15. Good idea Luke081515 18:48, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
  16. --Alraunenstern۞ 20:09, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
  17. Let's be bold! Aalfons (talk) 20:13, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
  18. important topic. Great that somebody is interested in it. Thanks to all who are involved in this project. --Cartinal (talk) 20:25, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
  19. Good and important – K​P​F​C​💬 21:19, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
  20. --Ghilt (talk) 23:34, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
  21. --Kenny McFly (talk) 08:53, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
  22. Can maybe help to improve the "community heatlh" --MGChecker (talk) 15:28, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
  23. Thanks for tackling this important issue. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 16:57, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
  24. --Edward Steintain (talk) 09:13, 13 November 2016 (UTC)
  25. very good idea , Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 22:23, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
  26. I endorse this project. Please see my comments on the discussion page. Jackiekoerner (talk) 22:46, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
  27. I agree! It is important to help People, who have Problems with stress management caused by projects of the Wikipedia --Keks by 19:58, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
  • I can attest to the mental health benefits of contributing to Wikipedia! When I feel worthless during a depressive episode, I can counteract that by fixing a few template errors or repairing some dead links. I know these edits are always valuable, and I usually learn something new in the process. ShelleyAdams (talk) 23:58, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Critical appraisal and opposition to this proposal

  • Please note the critical appraisal by some notable members of the German community opposing pseudo-psychoanalysing users' contributions because this could make problems even worse. I am surprised that so far there is no oppose section in this proposal. (The linked section from the Kurier talk page was moved to the Kurier archive in due course.)--Aschmidt (talk) 21:18, 26 October 2016 (UTC) – amended --Aschmidt (talk) 21:18, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Unfortunately, I can not find a description with which method this apparently central question should be dealt with: „We need to find out more about what users we have with what kind of mental and emotional styles and challenges.” This question should be backed up by a solid and scientific method - not only with anecdotal reports („There is a lot of jokes and anecdotes about mental health issues, there are some individual blogs … but did anybody collect any reliable data?”) ! --Henriette (talk) 05:33, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
Hello Henriette, thanks for your question. I am not a scientist, so I will not make any original research. What I want to do is a classical Meta-study - I do want to find out, what others researched around the world so far. To this end I will create a questionnaire, that I will send to all the chapters and user-groups. One of the questions will ask for individuals from the communities, the chapters or user groups respresent, that could have such knowledge. By the time I do get names I will have created another questionnaire for individuals, where they can state which studies or projects they know, that deal with the issue of mental health. --Kritzolina (talk) 16:53, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
But those who have a strong opinion (and may feel isolated) will probably not be a part of the mainstream, as in "chapters" and "user-groups". Also, I believe that a meta study would simply draw from extant research. Gordo (talk) 18:43, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
  •   Strong oppose With all due respect however, this pseudo-scientific approach to a very serious issue is, in my opinion, to be rejected simply because the applicant has no apprenticeship in this field of science. The main point seems to be a survey, it can already be assumed that basic scientific conditions can not be met. Especially not in the evaluation itself. Also the attempt to distribute the questions about 41 chapters shows that cultural differences are not even considered. Even if the topic is interesting, the attempt here to approach this subject is completely half-cocked.
It would be conceivable that this problem would be handed over to a university institution for implementation. It is also inconceivable that the applicant, who herself is in a position where she is repeatedly involved (whether rightly or wrongly) in strong confrontations, is thus involved in a project like this. Finally, I would not like to be the subject of any investigation, which is usually characterized by the familiarity of medical treatment. But here seems to be more speculative the door open.
What kind of statements can be expected from employees of a Wikimedia chapter, which is perhaps employed only temporary and to be asked for judgments about persons who are perhaps critically opposed to the chapters. To give just one example which also shows that the applicant has little knowledge about inter-cultural peculiarities. --Hubertl (talk) 22:45, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
Addendum: As far as I can see, this project needs a second one for following up (which is not stated yet). As long as the expected costs of a necessarely follow up are not listed - including the necessary evaluation - this concept is without any concern. It is implicated, that the content of the survey itself is made by representatives of chapters / usergroups, which in most cases has no idea at all of the Wikipedians and the diversity of the expression of those people. At this point, the supporters must be reminded again that this project wants to address the question of the mental health of Wikipedians. It is frightening how easy it seems to give consent here. I would even go so far as to make any decision on whether such projects should be approved at all by designated experts, but not of those currently in the decision-making process. --Hubertl (talk) 07:14, 13 November 2016 (UTC)
Hallo Hubertl, ich antworte auch hier mal auf Deutsch, da vor allem aus der deutschen community vergleichbare Sorgen an mich herangetragen wurden. Wie auch auf der Kurierdisk dargestellt, möchte ich auch hier noch einmal klarstellen, dass ich keine Untersuchungen einzelner Personen plane oder anregen möchte, sondern eine Metastudie vorhabe. Es tut mir sehr leid, wenn das noch nicht deutlich genug ist. Das heißt ich sammle vor allem Daten darüber, wer wo jemals schon qualifizierte Studien oder Projekte rund um das Thema betrieben hat und wie die Ergebnisse waren. Niemand soll ermutigt werden die psychische Gesundheit Einzelner zu beurteilen. Selbstverständlich werde ich mich unabhängig davon als erstes mit dem Thema Ethik der Untersuchung beschäftigen, vor allem in Hinblick darauf, dass sehr viele Leute sich bereits jetzt bei mir mit ihren persönlichen Anliegen zu dem Thema melden. --Kritzolina (talk) 08:48, 13 November 2016 (UTC)
These are two completely different discussions. As far as I know about the situation here, the decision makers from the grants commitee are usualy not in a position to pursue a discussion at this level in German. It´s obvious, that you are changing the topic of the proposal now, after more than 20 support votes. We are not talking about a few hundred US-$, we are talking about more than 11,000 $ with an unclear and open situation of a necessarily follow-up-study, to which you have not replied yet. --Hubertl (talk) 05:27, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Service: The discussion about this proposal in german language at the Kurier-talk page. --Hubertl (talk) 06:16, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

I have mixed feelings on this - for (1) I am not sure how you're going to explore and come up with more knowledge - are the interviews with people done as a researcher or clinician? And how do you confirm a diagnosis or even conclude that a belief that one or more people have is related to the problems they might be having? Then (2) are you talking of setting up a counseling service? In which case, how do you counsel a co-editor and maintain boundaries? Sorry, realised you meant program as a self-help item, but still, one becomes responsible for the appropriate use of said item. I am not saying these issues are insurmountable but wondering about roles of people doing research and/or counselling here....Casliber (talk) 12:18, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
  •   Oppose To be honest, i see no need to fund this with money from donators and i see no need to create a free licensed stress management program, funded with WMF money. --Steinsplitter (talk) 13:41, 15 November 2016 (UTC)