Let’s Talk About Mental Health and You

Embroidery that reads, "I told my therapist about you." Photo care of Hey__Paul Studios via flickr

and it’s helping.

Here at Skepticon HQ we’ve heard that about one in five adults will suffer from mental illness this year. The fact that half of these will not receive treatment should be cause for alarm. With May announced, by presidential proclamation, as National Mental Health Awareness Month, we’d like to do our part continuing to support open dialogue. At some Skepticon in the future, we hope that the personal stigma related to mental health and its treatment will be a thing of the past.

During Skepticon 4, original Skepticon co-founder JT Eberhard gave a firsthand account of his own battles, Mental Illness and Why the Skeptic Community Should Give a Shit.

“But that’s the thing about mental illness is, it takes away your ability to reason at times, and you don’t even know it. And so, how do you beat this, how do you beat the fact that every time you go out into public, something sets you off into a panic, ’cause you don’t want to be a burden to anyone around you, you don’t want to be a burden to your friends, do you just gut it out?” spoiler: No, you don’t.

Greta Christina later would share her own story during her talk on Avoiding Activist Burnout at Skepticon 6.

“let’s support each other in reducing stress in whatever way works for us, and let’s make sure to provide a variety of stress reduction community activities.” spoiler: more than just drinking.

Rob Lehr, who has provided the steady hand and badass editing of all of our videos under HamboneProductions, also contributes a lot of work to the Missouri State Live Action Society, a group that gives people who might not fit into a typical college organization a safe place to belong. For example, hosting campus wide Humans vs Zombie campaigns large enough to scare local media with Nerf guns.

The entire Skepticon team wants to see you each year as healthy as possible. We’d be pretty shitty friends if you showed up with a broken leg and we didn’t recommend seeing a doctor. Take the time to watch a video, or browse a site like the Mental Health America or MentalHealth.gov, and if any of these feelings or symptoms sound familiar, please speak to a healthcare professional.

Transportation Could Use Your Help

woosh a plane!Transportation for your favorite speakers will cost us in the neighborhood of $10,000 this year. All of this will be paid for by donations made by attendees and viewers like yourself. Of course, we are looking into reward programs with airlines and other such discounts but that’s a fair figure for what we will be looking at in the next month or so.

We really appreciate your continued support. We have the greatest community ever and we always manage to pull through.

If you haven’t donated yet, we’d love to have you chip in and help. If you have already contributed, consider chipping in a bit more if your budget allows, or maybe even becoming a monthly contributor. You can cancel at any time and we won’t be upset. You can also chip in a bit more at any time. We won’t stop you. You generous, good-looking person you.

If you have any fun ideas for things the Skepticon Team can do as a donation drive, be sure to let us know! You want to see us play through video games as pacifists? No problem! You want us to eat entirely vegan for a whole day? Door-to-door atheism discussions here in town? Proselytize the downtown area?  Nothing too crazy is off the table!

Also, take a moment to share this post or like it on facebook for more visibility if you can. Every little bit helps!

Maybe in a few weeks we’ll all terrify each other with a short story I like to call, “Expo Center Cost Breakdown: The Sixthening”


Thank You For Watching SK Speaker Videos

Rob Lehr of Hambone Productions has made a donation, on behalf of Skepticon and the atheist community, from the advertising revenue generated from the speaker videos to the Mtaani Centre, an HIV testing facility, in Nairobi, Kenya.

The money donated will not only fund the entirety of the center’s expenses for a year in which more than 1,000 people will be tested, but will also assist them in buying a house to run the facility rent free.

If you sat down and thoughtfully listened to Tony Pinn’s talk on the Fight Against Theism, teared up as JT Eberhard proposed on stage at the end of his talk, or even if you were one of the asshole commenters on Rebecca Watson’s tear down of popular evolutionary psychology, then we owe you our thanks. Especially if you accidentally clicked a link or you weren’t using Adblock. Double especiallies if you shared the link on Facebook and/or Reddit.

Also, we’d specifically like to thank the speakers for allowing us to monetize their videos wherever possible. Particularly anyone who’s talk generated 30 Reddit threads in less than a year that eventually direct everyone back to the video.

Skepticon would really like to give a hand to Rob for putting all of this together. He is an invaluable resource that puts countless hours of work filming, editing, uploading and maintaining the videos from past events.

Tonight, Skepticon would like you all to don your favorite bed sheet as a cape and jump off the couch.


Because now we’re all saving lives and it’s about damn time we dress the part.

Delicious Skepticake 12-16

It’s been a really upsetting week in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting, so lets enjoy a delicious morsel and cheer up a bit.Sufganiyah

And on this final day of Hanukkah we ask you, Skeptonites, what are your favorite fried foods? I’m partial to fried turkey myself. Ask an adult to help!