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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. Unit1
    Unit1 avatar
    9 posts
    20 December 2020

    Hi, sorry if this is off thread:

    Not sure if this has been mentioned before, but apart from Nurse Jen I assume there are no other formal representatives of the medical/mental health professions that ever post on BB? Or at least not regularly. I do realise that this is a forum for fellow users to discuss their issues and provide support, and not a direct online consulting service, but I wonder whether the medical folk ever have much of a look at this forum (or others like SANE etc..). Perhaps they do and decide its best to keep a professional distance and not comment but I can't help thinking that the kind of discussions and comments regarding all our experiences with the mental health system and it's successes and failings would be a valuable information resource for mental health professionals and government and maybe, just occasionally a representative could post comments about updates to services and treatments and even comment on trending discussions or topics featured on BB. I'm not suggesting a back and forth discussion which I am sure they wouldn't have the time for but some sort of feedback that might show all of us that they (the system at large) is paying attention to what the people are saying in the forums rather than just what might be said in therapy or via their own studies and surveys, as I feel there are different things to learn from this resource. A cynic might suggest they aren't involved because there is no money in it, but I am sure that would be an unfair thing to say, however I feel like a bit of feedback and commentary would be good. My own experience of the efficacy of therapy has not been great but I would hope there is some value in the GPs, Counsellors and Psych organisations reviewing the resource that is our collective thoughts, especially where it pertains to treatments etc... to help find better outcomes or try new ideas. Sometimes I feel the medical fraternity can be a bit of a closed shop and discuss their profession only within their own groups about what is best for patients whereas I think reaching out to forums like BB at the very least show they are listening to us "outside" the consulting rooms. I think it could provide them another way to peformance evaluate of how well they doing and where they can improve, as it were, with the opportunity being there to communicate back to us. Good and clear feedback statements could then be referenced by moderators to anyone raising a related issue in the future. Just an idea.

    4 people found this helpful
  2. Sleepy21
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    20 December 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello Quirky and Matchy and all else,

    Yes I agree that some ppl do so much here to be welcoming

    I find it at the moment really hard to be here and don't think there is a lot of support offered to ppl in crises and also to prevent bullying happening on the forum, which has happened to me and seems to be okay.
    I think the forums are not a safe space for many.
    Thanks

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Sleepy21
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    20 December 2020 in reply to Unit1

    Hi Unit1, welcome to the forums

    Just wandering - are other forums more moderated etc, like Sane or Reach out
    There is little medical input here and mostly the forum is moderated by volunteers

    The problem of the medical sphere being closed to human experience is a valid one. Thanks for sharing. Happy to hear more about what ur suggesting

    2 people found this helpful
  4. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    11981 posts
    20 December 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Sleepy
    I am so sorry you feel this way.
    do you know you can report a post that you feel has not followed guidelines by pressing on report post on the top right corner of a post.

    It is not okay for anyone to not feel safe on the forum.
    I feel sad you have had this experience.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Sleepy21
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    20 December 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    Hi Quirky thanks I was aware of that button and I think it is good to have that there. Thanks so much for caring and listening, it makes me feel a bit safer. Cheers,
    Sleepy
    1 person found this helpful
  6. Hanna3
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    3105 posts
    20 December 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    I have had the same experience Quirky and if you report a post all you get is a no reply email from the moderators. I often find BB is not safe and I've sometimes been very upset by things here.
    1 person found this helpful
  7. Sleepy21
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    20 December 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    I think there should be clear guidelines on what to do if you feel upset here - I think you should be ab le to politely express it to the person who has upset you - and then if that doesn't work the moderators should offer support around the issue. I think it's good to try and resolve it first with the person if possible.
    Although I accept that may not work. I try and raise my concerns with the person when I have an issue etc - it sometimes works sometimes doesn't but it is good for me to have that self-boundary. Re reporting to the moderators, the email supplied when u report something includes an email address to write to directly.

    I have written to them before when upset and the reply is nearly instant, although its a lot of work sometimes to stay safe here.

    2 people found this helpful
  8. Sleepy21
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    20 December 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Sorry you feel upset here and for anyone who feels that way.

    I've also felt horrifically hurt and minimised here many times and also felt my comments were dismissed when I entered discussions in good faith.

    A value here is to assume the best of people and accept them as they are - that is core to including all ppl and accepting them at their most vulnerable.

    2 people found this helpful
  9. blondguy
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    20 December 2020 in reply to Unit1

    Hi Unit1

    As Sleepy21 mentioned above...Welcome to the forums and thankyou for mentioning ' maybe, just occasionally a representative could post comments about updates to services and treatments and even comment on trending discussions or topics featured on BB'

    This is an excellent point Unit1. Nurse Jenn is the only health professional on the forums. I also think it would be helpful to have another health professional actually post even a 'Mental Health Update' say once a month....(just an example)

    My health professional recently mentioned that he has the 'clinical qualifications' yet he doesnt have the experience (feelings/symptoms) I do with 37 years of recovering from chronic anxiety/depression

    Hey Quirky....After reading Sleepy21 and Hanna's posts I feel they have made an excellent point.

    Hey Hanna....Thankyou for having the strength to post as well as you have. When a member receives a 'no reply' email it can actually do more harm than good. With respect to the workload that the moderators have of course

    Thankyou for the helpful posts

    my kindest always.....Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  10. Croix
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    10222 posts
    20 December 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Dear Unit1, Speepy21 and all~

    I guess the first thing to say is that huge amout of effort goes into ensuring you feel safe here. That does not mean sometimes things don't slip though, as Quirky says that is what the red Report Post link is for.

    Bullying will not be tolerated.

    Report Post takes priority and is looked at as soon as possible, then you get an answer, which may seem a little impersonal at times, however that may well be becsue the Moderators (who are qualified and here ALL the time) may be busy composing a constructive email to the person you reported or lots of other tasks

    While it may sometimes be a good idea to tell someone gently if you have been unhappy with the way they have addressed you, report it anyway. It is not always easy to tell what a other might be going though.

    Not receiving an answer from other posters to something you have posted happens often, and I'm not sure there is any real cure for that, as it is the way this place is set up, for help between equals, and that can mean the post can simply be overlooked, or the responder not feeling up to making a reply - plus of course sometimes the point is missed. It can sometimes be seen as rudeness, but in a text world normal judgments do not really apply.

    It happens to me a lot, I construct my post with care and post it with thought - and nothing happens. I do not try to repeat myself or ask why a post has been ignored, I go and do something else, after all there are always people to talk to here.

    Later on somebody else may pick up on your post, that happens to me too, and I'm always pleased my words have meant something to somebody.

    Your other point about medical people not being on the Forum. On the whole that would defeat the whole purpose of the place. Currently we have Nurse Jenn, Before that we had Doctor Kim. A professional can be asked questions but cannot give definitive answers as they do not know you and can only talk in general terms.

    The whole idea is that people who are undergoing the same experiences, or who have already done so are the ones that truly understand, and when you talk together you benefit from getting to know what happened to them and how they coped

    I started becuse someone with PTSD was worried of hitting his wife if roused from a flashback. I'd had that exact worry myself and was able to reassure him

    Sleepy I've read tons of your posts, they are supportive, caring and sensible. You are an asset to all here, please do not be discouraged

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Sleepy21
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    20 December 2020 in reply to blondguy

    I like that idea blondguy

    it could be a nice conversation starter

    Like maybe even issues that come up repeatedly here like

    i think it would add a nice angle to the forum

    1 person found this helpful
  12. blondguy
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    11207 posts
    21 December 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Hi Sleepy21
    you have always provided wonderful support across the forums and thankyou for being the caring person you are! Your input (including on this thread) is highly valued. Nice1 :-)

    my kindest always....Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  13. geoff
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    21 December 2020

    Hi Everyone, well thought out comments.

    It is with great respect the work Nurse Jenn does on these forums as well as her other commitments, but it would be wise for the benefit of those posting in and wanting someone else who is also trained to be made available because some questions being asked need professional input.

    It would be difficult to expect any psychologist/psychiatrist to have any involvement in these online forums, only because of income, money is the curse of the world, has been and will be for the next umpteenth years, and if there was, then they wouldn't last very long.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    Although what is said people may disagree with from their own experience, because not every psych/counsellor/nurse will be suitable for everyone, but it's food for thought and maybe considered.

    Perhaps 'a representative could post comments about updates to services and treatments and even comment on trending discussions or topics featured on BB',

    2 people found this helpful
  14. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
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    Sophie_M avatar
    5705 posts
    21 December 2020 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff,

    Well said. While we always ensure there is a resident professional to respond to posts as appropriate, these forums have always and will always be about peer to peer support.

    We're looking forward to introducing a new mental health clinician dedicated to this wonderful online forums community in the new year.

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Sleepy21
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    21 December 2020

    hi all i totally understand that ppl can't give a response, especially in the suicide/self harm section - I don't take that personally and often ppl go for breaks from BB which I think is great and gives them room - no one is forced to reply which is cool.
    But what I mean is sometimes I feel certain ppl may try enter a conversation and the ppl will ignore that specific person because they prefer having quite private chats with other ppl.

    I think sometimes we forget but this is a forum for all ppl working on their mental health, which means there aren't really any private chats - so even if ppl really get along, when someone expresses interest to join their previously chat with a group - the group should expand and at the very least say hello and welcome that person.

    Being flat out ignored is very traumatic and triggering for many ppl. I'm just saying to say hello and see when someone is trying to join - and respect their efforts. This forum is for that purpose of including and not excluding.

    4 people found this helpful
  16. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    21 December 2020

    Hi all.

    I haven't been around and I'm not sure if I'll come back. But I just wanted to say that I hope I haven't done anything wrong. I try to include people in any thread whether it's my own or somebody else's, and new or old members. I try to stay on topic but it can be hard sometimes.

    I hope it's not me who's done anything wrong. i'm sorry if I have. Not sounding selfish or anything, just wanted to say that.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    11981 posts
    21 December 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Sleepy and everyone,

    you have made very good points about respecting and being aware of others.

    Croix made a very helpful posts with suggestions and ideas from his long experience on the forums.

    I have been ignored and I realise that sometimes the person answering is so upset they may find it hard to concentrate and reply to everyone or even to say hello.

    I agree everyone should be welcomed and made it feel part of a group.

    I thank you for honestly sharing your thoughts as that it will people more aware and to make the forums a more welcoming place. Your comments show inisght and honesty and they will help the many people who read but do not post.

    Thanks everyone for contributing ideas to help improve the forums.

    2 people found this helpful
  18. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    21 December 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    I often feel ignored on the forums too, although I try to include everyone no matter what like I said. I feel like this is a personal thing with others & myself. So that's why I don't come on here anymore. I don't really feel welcome anymore.
    2 people found this helpful
  19. Matchy69
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    21 December 2020 in reply to Missing user
    Hi Tayla good see you back on here.You haven't done anything wrong You really are a caring compassionate person a d always great have you on any thread.
    1 person found this helpful
  20. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    21 December 2020 in reply to Missing user

    Tay

    I find what you said very sad as I and many others welcome people and never ignore.
    I have been ignored too. It isn’t about you . Tay you are a kind person and I hope you will keep posting. There are many threads that I am sure you would feel elcome.

    3 people found this helpful
  21. eight
    eight avatar
    372 posts
    22 December 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    lol ive absolutely seen users condescend and jump down new member's throats. doesnt make me feel very at ease these guys are the face of recovery but i won't name names or drop threads or anything because i think the benefit of the doubt is important. or threads that absolutely violate forum rules but i never have the energy because it feels like nobody but me realises "THE ENTIRE POINT OF THIS THREAD IS AGAINST THE RULES ITS BOLDED IN THE PINNED POST". i have to be some hysteric in the masses if it hasn't been taken down though though ive been imagining things a lot lately

    also would very much be against the idea of a professional here thanks! can't wait for me to post about how a hotline or treatment didn't do shit for me and have another Dr. Condescension tell me about how im just not good enough at seeking help and threaten me about how i will regret it (what the hell is it with most professionals and being more obsessed in watching you fall years later than helping you in the moment? any docs here lmk)

    2 people found this helpful
  22. geoff
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    23 December 2020 in reply to Missing user

    Hello Tayla, no, absolutely not, everybody has another opinion, we aren't all going to agree with the same process and how you might be able to overcome any decision made or how to confront the problem because what works for person A doesn't mean it's going to be suitable for person D.

    I may say how you will be able to fly to the moon, then who's going to back me up, maybe one or two people, the rest believe it's all rubbish, so for example who could possibly agree with Nostradamus or Jules Verne believing three astronauts would land on the moon, or similar back in 1865, no one.

    So what you have to say contributes to the understanding of mental illness, and perhaps one day all we need to do is walk through a machine with depression and come out and it's all gone.

    These miracles and more are bound to happen, so what is said should be taken as gospel, everybody is different.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  23. Sleepy21
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    24 December 2020

    I would not be keen on doctors or psychiatrists writing on the forum but would be open to MH nurses, peer workers or social workers...

    I also think sometimes the pushing of helplines here is a bit much.
    Helpines help some ppl some of the time

    There is no formula to being well.
    As someone with PTSD some of the helplines pushed for any problem have retraumatised me bigtime.
    I know it's from a good place but if someone says it isn't helping, they should be believed and not as eight says, implied that they need to try harder to be well

    I'm not sure, but my gut feeling is that everyone is trying really hard to stay well, if they are already on the forums and admitting to being in pain. Sometimes we try harder than anything and a system lets us down. And then we can't just try harder, we have to try different.

    3 people found this helpful
  24. Matchy69
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    24 December 2020 in reply to Sleepy21
    Hi Sleepy I agree with you about helpline they do help some people but not all and people like with anxiety issues with talking on the phone it is really difficult. The times I have had the courage to ring them I found them really unhelpful.People coming on here are admitting they have a mh problem and it is really big and hard step for them.
    3 people found this helpful
  25. Sleepy21
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    24 December 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Hi Mark totally agree. I have anxiety and the same experience. Sorry they weren't helpful, it can be hard and frustrating

    1 person found this helpful
  26. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    25 December 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Hello everyone

    I think it is good having a discussion.

    I wonder how we can use this information to help improve the forums.

    I understand that not everyone needs a help line so I only suggest them when I think may be helpful. I think people coming to the forum have so many different problems so there needs to be a range of options available.

    People need to respect others opinions so everyone feels safe. I hope this would happen naturally. Any ideas to help this happen.

    Thanks for your honesty.

  27. Sleepy21
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    26 December 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky, totally agree with u

    Helplines are just one method

    Depends i guess on what ppls needs are immediately and long term - eg to stay safe, to get support, or maybe sometimes just to be believed.

    I guess it's good food for thought.

    1 person found this helpful
  28. Matchy69
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    26 December 2020 in reply to Sleepy21
    Hi sleepy I think having someone believe you and care can make a big difference.I find in my life that no one cares or believes how i am struggling.Coming on here finding people who do care and listen helps me.
    3 people found this helpful
  29. Croix
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    26 December 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Dear Sleepy,Quirky, mb20lover, Matchy69, eight and anyone I've not mentioned:)

    We fill a unique position, which is not matched by help lines or crisis lines - or web chat.

    • Firstly there is true anonymity, somethng may crisis lines will not accept, and is open to anyone in Australia
    • Secondly there is never any need to repeat one's story, and in fact need not mention it at all to start with and can 'test the waters' before gong further
    • Thirdly we are not time-limited, even if very slow
    • Fourthly and most importantly we are peers, i.e. people who have suffered the same, or near enough to understand. We are not clinicians who see "patients", and we are not volunteers, highly trained or otherwise, who lack that vital lived common experience.
    • We are also moderated, which means we are safe here

    So as Sleepy says things depend upon what people need. The number that have a need for what we offer is unbelievable.

    We do need to improve the technical side of the Forum, making it more phone-friendly among other things, and this is being worked on.

    We also need to keep on getting your thoughts, anything is always open to improvement and that includes this place.

    Croix

    4 people found this helpful
  30. Matchy69
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    26 December 2020
    I think just having members treating everyone with respect and compassion on here would really help.
    4 people found this helpful

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