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Forums / Re-designing and upgrading the Online Forums / How can we improve the forums? Your suggestions and comments please

Topic: How can we improve the forums? Your suggestions and comments please

  1. Summer Rose
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    6 February 2022 in reply to Guest_1643

    Hi Quercus and Sleepy

    Agree with your ideas so much.

    I’d like to see a Q&A format to explain the rules, which makes it easy for skimmers to find specific information and ensures the information provided reflects real experience. In other words, it’s what the community wants to know, not what someone else thinks we need to know.

    So, questions could be real life and submitted by community members. The most commonly asked questions get answered by bb.

    For example some questions might be:

    Q: I was participating on a thread that’s disappeared. What are some of the reasons to explain why this could have happened?

    Q: Why is it important to stay on the topic of a thread?

    Q: If a post upsets me, is it better to let the other person know or report the thread?

    Q: What happens if I start a thread and can’t continue it?

    Q: Why can’t I write a goodbye message to my friends in the forum?

    Q: Is it considered rude to stop participating in a thread?

    Q: Is it okay to write a post on an inactive thread to check on a person? Or is that considered pressure to respond?

    Q: What should I do if I know someone has posted something that just can’t be true?

    Q: How do I know I can trust the information that other people post?

    Q: Why can’t I ask someone I really connect with to meet up with me in real life?

    Q: I drink an awesome herbal tea that I swear helps my anxiety. Is it okay to tell others about it and name the brand?

    Q: I had a horrible experience with a psychiatrist. Should I warn others to stay away from them. If not, why?

    I could write hundreds of questions based on my real experience, as I’m sure we all could. Would love to read the answers.

    Kind thoughts to all

    6 people found this helpful
  2. Guest_1643
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    6 February 2022 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hi summer rose, totally!

    That's a great idea.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Guest_1643
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    6 February 2022 in reply to Summer Rose

    In my opinion moderation here is relatively hands off, and this space is peer driven.

    It's also open to be used in multiple ways, with a very broad scope.

    U can vent and just share disappointment, just get Ur pain out in words, or you can have like cyber friendships, where u check in on one another, or u can share poetry or interests, or actually advise and guide others on their problems.

    I think because it's so wide and open, clashes can happen, ie someone can be just venting and another person can share a coping strategy, and it's a clash....the person didn't want advice, just to write and get it out,

    Other times ppl ask for advice and want it and feel let down if it's not offered.

    It's really hard for me to know sometimes what the person needs and I occasionally get anxious posting, thinking I've misread entirely what is being asked.

    I wouldn't mind if mods or even peers created some advice for how to manage conflict here, or some experiences on how they've managed if they feel they've said something wrong.

    3 people found this helpful
  4. mmMekitty
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    6 February 2022 in reply to Guest_1643

    Hi sleepy,

    If in doubt about wether someone posting is expressing thoughts & feelings, or asking for some specific advice or suggestions, or wanting to hear from others with similar or different experiences about something, please, ask.

    I admit, there are times I might not be as clear about what I would like from other members, so I would welcome the question, "Please, mmMekitty, would you likesuggestions, or do you have a specific question? Or are you venting?" I think if a question about what the person wants or not, is fine, politely asked, of-course.

    I can tell you, & everyone, if I post in the Vent & then let it go, thread, I don't expect a reply, even if my post contain a question. I do like that thread very much, because , there it is like I am asking myself something, & listening for my own response to what I post. Or it is more basic, like yelling into the night, no response expected, just getting it out.

    This is an open space, where people may respond with questions, opinions, suggestions, & maybe even advice, but mind how direct that is... re brand names, or I've had a generic name modified, into something even more general.

    I do recall, there is something here about being able to point to where any information claimed to be factual, was found, so it can be verified..

    I am disappointed that information I have found on Aus Gov websites won't now be welcom on this website. I think having factual sources is important, both physically & mentally. I have found having info to guide my decisions very helpful while I am trying to cope with the difficulties I've had. Without. I am adrift in the ocean.

    I think a site like this could & should have links to reliable info, for when people do have questions which strictly don't entirely fall within the area of mental health.

    *

    & about trigger warnings, if I knew what would trigger someone at any given time, the list would be long & ever changing. Sure there are some topics & content which is more likely to trigger some people, but a lot more which is not so predictable. I come across the occasional word or phrase, in places which are about as safe as this place gets, but for me, in that moment, but maybe not any other time, I was triggered. I don't want to see a trigger warning there. I don't want to start seeing trigger warnings everywhere.

    mmMekitty

  5. Guest_1643
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    6 February 2022 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hi mekitty, that's a good idea to ask.

    I love that thread too for venting.

    I think trigger warnings can be really helpful, and wouldmlove guidance on how to use them.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Hanna3
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    6 February 2022 in reply to mmMekitty

    I agree people should be able to send a farewell post on their thread if they are leaving BB.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. mmMekitty
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    6 February 2022 in reply to Hanna3

    & Sleepy, I agree, more guidance or even a way to add a warning at a later date, when it becomes important to do so. Or move my thread to a section, where readers are advised, that all threads have a trigger warning there.

    mmMekitty

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Guest_1643
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    6 February 2022 in reply to Guest_1643

    Hi mekitty

    All great ideas

    I am sorry for triggering ppl and know my own thread has triggering words in the title

    I myself like talking about deep topics and at the same time am aware jt can be a lot.

    I appreciate when ppl put trigger warnings, it's just something I'm not used to doing, and am a bit scared of messinf up.

    Sometimes ppl write cw, for content warning, or tw, with the specific triggers.

    I guess it is our rights as users to share our truth and it may b triggering to others... it's a toughie because too much censorship could also prevent ppl being honest when they need help, and as a mh forum there should be some space for conversations about serious pain, disability, si, sh,...otherwise where can ppl be honest about their struggles

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Guest_1643
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    6 February 2022 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hi Summer Rose,

    Re if someone says something that upsets me, should I report it or speak to them?

    I've always kind of thought like real life, it could be a chance to build assertiveness or learn to work through difficulties, and try and tell the person.

    However if I think the post could hurt others beyond me I would report, ie if it's sexist or insensitive to trauma survivors.

    I personally see value in raising issues with ppl if possible. They may not know they have hurt u and may be happy to be told.

    I guess also it's good to do something, if u see something distressing, to try and resolve it.

    It's hard to do but I like to think it's like life here, sometimes ppl disagree and can have a chat.

    I've been corrected a few times and it was helpful for me to learn and grow.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Guest_1643
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    6 February 2022 in reply to Hanna3

    I think that thread does not need govt links and it woild detract from the threads value.

    Sometimes ppl vent and need that to cope,

    Then they get told what to do and it I believe detracts from the purpose of the thread.

    Some ppl have a preferred news source or public figure, but that doesn't make that persons views factual.

    So I feel the coronavirus thread does not need more govt info or guidelines and it makes me feel unsafe there and probably a bit like an outsider when ppl give me lots of info there....

    I like having free flowing chats there and also want tppl to assume,e the best of each other.

    What may seem to someone as conspiracy theories may be one person's fact.

    2 people found this helpful
  11. Summer Rose
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    6 February 2022 in reply to Guest_1643

    Hi Sleepy

    Balancing the “rights of users to share their truth”, as you put it, with the need to protect others is very tricky indeed.

    I have a different view to you, as I think there is ample space for people to honestly discuss their pain and struggles. And I see this all the time on the forums.

    I think it’s very important to acknowledge that these forums are public. So, when we’re talking, it’s not just to the people on the thread. There are potentially vulnerable children, nervous carers, scared newly diagnosed people and seriously unwell people reading, to cite some examples.

    It’s also important to acknowledge that no one has an unlimited right to free speech on the forum. Community rules limit our freedoms for safety reasons. And legislation still applies, for example copyright or defamation.

    I can definitely see how a discussion about serious pain etc benefits thread participants, but what if …

    The conversation discourages help seeking? What if the conversation leaves one with no hope? What if the thread is one-sided and diminishes the value of a particular treatment that helps many people (eg medication)? And what if, further, there is no alternative offered or discussed in place of a service or treatment they might really need?

    At what point does the potential risk of harm to many others outweigh the potential benefit to thread participants?

    This is when moderators must step in. In my view, the overriding goal of the risk assessment done by moderators should be to find the outcome that causes the least amount of harm.

    There is no black and white in some of these situations, Sleepy, just multiple shades of grey that require careful thought through a very wide lens.

    I hope I haven’t upset you. I say all this with deep respect and a sincere hope that I will not damage the rapport we have developed.

    Kind thoughts to you

    5 people found this helpful
  12. Guest_1643
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    8 February 2022 in reply to Summer Rose
    Hi summer rose,

    Well said,

    I know many people struggle with the concept of free speech here, I think u make very sensitive and caring points, free speech is not infinite.

    I know it may sound contrary to bb or mh advocacy groups stance but in the last few years as I sought support for my own delayed onset ptsd, I learnt a lot.

    I see how it could be perceived as irresponsible to discourage someone from going to a gp, but I also think it might be irresponsible to exclusively advocate for the gp.

    I just want to be able to tell the truth, but I dont want to discourage ppl getting help, I want to support them to get suitable help for their situation. Great if gp and mhcp is sufficient and suitable.

    Thanks I enjoy chatting to u and really appreciate U commenting and talking to me, on this thread.
    4 people found this helpful
  13. blondguy
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    9 February 2022 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hi Summer Rose and hey Sleepy....Kitty...Hanna....Quercus...Nat...and Grandy!

    Great post on Feb 6 SR....especially when you mentioned "it’s what the community wants to know, not what someone else thinks we need to know" This represents transparency at its finest...:-)

    Excellent set of questions you mentioned too..Thankyou

    my kindest always

    Paul

    3 people found this helpful
  14. Guest_1643
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    10 February 2022 in reply to Summer Rose

    They're all very valid points

    Ppl talk a lot about the Royal commissions recommendations , I wander if they impact services like this?

    I understand there is a push for lived experience contributing to change.

    Bb are pretty good at adopting lived experiences contributions, and it feels good to have a voice

  15. Summer Rose
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    10 February 2022 in reply to Guest_1643

    Hi Sleepy, Paul and others

    Firstly, a big thank you to you both for your kind feedback.

    Sleepy, I’ve been thinking about your last two posts and wanted to encourage you to consider joining blue voices.

    I belong to this bb volunteer reference group and through this arm of bb volunteers are provided with amazing opportunities to shape and contribute to bb’s work. This includes providing your thoughts on advertising campaigns, new services and advocacy work.

    The feedback provided to bb is not public, so there is enormous scope to tell your truth in your own way without constraint and to know it will be heard.

    For example, I was able to provide input into bb’s submission to the Productivity Commission report on mental health in Australia and to touch on really sensitive subjects in a very direct way. Because my comments were ultimately designed to reach mental health decision makers I enjoyed a greater freedom to tell my truth.

    I can tell you, hand on heart, that my interactions with bb through blue voices leaves me with no doubt that bb puts the community at the heart of everything it does.

    Just search blue voices on the bb website and see what you think.

    Perhaps, as a way to keep this post on topic, I could suggest bb explore ways to cross promote it’s blue voices and other volunteer opportunities via the forum.

    Kind thoughts to you

    5 people found this helpful
  16. Croix
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    10 February 2022 in reply to Summer Rose

    Dear All~

    Thank you Summer Rose, you are spot-on and I would like to heartily endorse the role of Blue Voices (yes I know I don't show my badge) . It provides a huge range of opportunities to take part in matters that shape the welfare of those with mental heal issues, from national down to local levels. At the same time it is not a support group like the Forum, it is a place to give your views.

    The activities are sufficiently diverse as to catch anyone's interests or abilities.

    My only criticism is they overuse the word 'passionate' :)

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-involved/bluevoices

    Croix

    3 people found this helpful
  17. Guest_1643
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    10 February 2022

    Hi all, done!

    I am impressed with BBS care for lived experience

    Thank you to the mods.

    I feel that the below conversations and reading how other ppl felt confused at times here or mistreated, cleared a lot of air, and made things feel more transparent.

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Guest_1643
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    11 February 2022

    It bothers me a little when people use stigmatising language around Mental health, either

    - describe people using outdated terms like crazy

    -call others mentaly ill as an insult

    - suggest ppl who are manipulative or cruel are synonymous wirh ppl with bpd (this isn't factually true and we have many users with bpd)

    - talk about ppl who've had hopsital admissions or s. attempts as more unwell, inferior, or not the same as other users.

    Please open up your hearts and know that ppl here reading have gone through a lot or are vulnerable or disabled and may feel hurt or see when u write something disrespectful to particular conditions.

    1 person found this helpful
  19. blondguy
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    15 February 2022 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hi Summer Rose

    Thankyou for helping out with such a proactive post re Blue Voices and adding the care factor...Your clarity is refreshing :-)

    Our moderators have a tough job and the majority of members understand this.. yet...

    I find there are some bizarre/insensitive comments as many members/champs have worked very hard to provide excellent input where improvements to the forums is concerned.....to no avail....Thus the existing lack of transparency..

    You mentioned 'bb puts the community at the heart of everything it does' No they dont Summer Rose!

    Paul

     

    4 people found this helpful
  20. Summer Rose
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    15 February 2022 in reply to blondguy

    Hi Paul

    I hear what you’re saying and respect your view about what’s at the heart, or not at the heart, of bb.

    I was expressing a view solely based on my experience, which is far narrower than yours. Understand your experience is different.

    I think it’s awesome that despite your frustrations, you are still here trying to make the forum a better place. Bb is lucky to have you.

    Kind thoughts to you

    5 people found this helpful
  21. blondguy
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    17 February 2022 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hey Summer Rose

    Thankyou for your super kind post! You just made my day :-) I remember when you started on Beyond Blue

    I have always admired your sense of clarity & care you provide to members

    my kind thoughts and respect SR

    Paul

    4 people found this helpful
  22. Guest_1643
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    17 February 2022 in reply to blondguy

    Hi blond guy

    I wish there were peer workers as well as modedators, in line with the royal commission.

    I woild feel safer here knowing that decisions are made using a lived experience perspective

    I have gone through a lot in my life

    I know there are some good ppl at bb who are trying.

    I also wander who makes major decisions on here.

     

    2 people found this helpful
  23. Sophie_M
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    18 February 2022 in reply to Sophie_M
    Hey everyone,

    It’s great to read your suggestions on how we can be a bit more community-guided and transparent, especially around these really tricky things like disagreements on the forums and having posts moderated.

    Feedback about moderation decisions is always welcome. We ask that these are made directly to the Forums Team at modsupport@beyondblue.org.au. We want to have these conversations, however we believe that these are best discussed off the forums as per our community rules.

    As always, we reserve the right to edit and remove posts that we believe are not safe for the forums. Our responsibility is the safety of the community as a whole and this is our priority.
    The community rules have been agreed to by all users and we thank you for your continued observance of them. If you wish to discuss them further, please contact us on modsupport@beyondblue.org.au.

    We thank you all for your patience with the team as we look to support those in our community who are in acute distress, sometimes this means we may not respond to questions and concerns straight away. However, we value all feedback and suggestions. We’re not able to implement all the suggestions right away, but we are taking them into account and we’re really appreciative of all your hard work and openness. We know that’s been frustrating for some and we are sorry. We’re always so grateful to hear everyone’s insights, and we thank you for keeping this thread so active.

    Here’s a summary of some of the things we can see are priorities:
    • Transparency
    • Centring Lived Experience
    • Advice for people with adverse experiences of mental health services
    • Visual changes eg. Badges, pronouns, user descriptions
    Thanks again for being a part of this community,

    Sophie M
    6 people found this helpful
  24. Summer Rose
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    18 February 2022 in reply to Sophie_M

    Hi Sophie

    I think you nailed it. Thank you!

    But yet I feel compelled to give bb a gentle, loving, kind but big push to take at least one of the identified priorities and produce an outcome in a timely fashion.

    I do this because the risk you run is that words about valuing our input, taking suggestions into account and appreciating our hard work are only going to become increasingly meaningless over time without action. It might pay to reread Community Champion Blondguy's post of 15 February 2022.

    Kind thoughts to you

    Kind thoughts to you

    4 people found this helpful
  25. Sophie_M
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    18 February 2022 in reply to Summer Rose
    Thanks Summer Rose, this is a really good point and we hear you (and you, Paul aka Blondguy!).

    We know everyone on this conversation is giving us their time and their wisdom, and this team will do our best to see through the actions we can, as soon as we can. 

    Kind regards, 

    Sophie M
    2 people found this helpful
  26. Guest_1643
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    18 February 2022

    Hi,

    I've seen some small steps forward but have also been badly impacted by some things and hope changes can be made, to focus on lived experience

    I have seen some changes here

    Can I ask bluntly, what is the policy on swearing here, OK or no?

    What is the policy on talking about sh or suicide.

    I notice myself feeling very shaky talking about it of its wrong here

    But I think if it's in the sh or suicidalitu section, maybe ppl should be able to talk about feeling suicidal, if they insist they are safe.

    Or talk about past experiences of suicide in a way to show how we have grown and lived on...

    I don't mean to trigger but I think we could find a way that these conversations can be Safe....maybe just if they are kept in the appropriate section of the forums?

    2 people found this helpful
  27. Matchy69
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    18 February 2022 in reply to Guest_1643
    I agree with what you have said.I feel can't talk about those topics as well and have some experience with doing it and why I did it.It would be nice to talk more openly about and I am sure it would help others.
    4 people found this helpful
  28. Summer Rose
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    18 February 2022 in reply to Sophie_M

    Excellent, Sophie.

    We are stronger when we work together.

    Kind thoughts to you

    4 people found this helpful
  29. robthomaslover
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    18 February 2022 in reply to Guest_1643

    i agree with you sleepy. the swearing doesn't bother me as long as it's not at someone, calling them names or something.

    i think sh & suicidal posts should be allowed because after all, it is a mental health website, & we should be able to discuss that stuff, with trigger warnings or whatever if need be.

    plus if someone is suicidal or has attempted, or sh, then what worked for helping them through it may work for others. but everyone is different.

    3 people found this helpful
  30. Guest_1643
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    18 February 2022

    I think if ppl want to talk about suicidality they should have space to have real talk anout it, if they are safe.

    My reasoning is I think it really helps

    Thanks for sharing that others feel bit shaky talking about it too, it makes me feel more comfortable.

    I felt a bit awkward, like I was always scared of saying the wrong thing here but I guess i want ppl to have safe places and safe ways to talk about it and not feel scared like I did !

    2 people found this helpful

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