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Forums / Welcome and orientation / Forums etiquette: give support to receive support

Topic: Forums etiquette: give support to receive support

  1. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1552 posts
    9 November 2015

    Hi everyone, particularly any new members who may be reading. 

    From time to time, we get contacted by members who are unhappy that they haven’t received a lot of replies to their posts. Our community champions work very hard to make sure that all newbies are welcomed when they first post, and we understand that it’s a big step to post for the first time on a forum like this, especially if you aren’t feeling great.

    It’s important to remember, though, that these forums are a community of real people, just like you, not a one-on-one support environment like going to see your psychologist.  

    To get the best out of being here, one of the best tips we can offer is give support to receive support.

    Being a good community member means:

    • participating in different threads (not just your own),
    • replying to people who have taken the time to reply to you (even if it’s just to say thank you), and...
    • posting words of emotional support and encouragement when you see others who are hurting and reaching out.

    You don’t have to feel obliged to solve the problems of others: that’s not what we’re here for. But you can offer empathy and what you’ve learned from your own life experiences, even if it’s just a line or two, eg. “I don't know what to say, but I want to give you my support and tell you I care about what is happening to you and hope life will get better soon.”

    Try to develop an interest in the journeys of others here on the forums. You may be surprised at how good being an active, caring member here can make you feel.

    Another good entry point is the social threads in the BB Social Zone. It's a great way to get to know other members and chat away from the heavier discussions.

    For those of you who have had good experiences giving support here on the forums, please post below and let us know how it has helped you on your journey.

    kittens



    31 people found this helpful
  2. Grunt
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Grunt avatar
    15 posts
    9 November 2015 in reply to Chris B

    Hey Chris,

    great advice! I've only been actively involved with the forum for the past few days. However, reading about the struggles and triumphs of others along their journeys has been comforting, encouraging and inspiring!

    I have been living with diagnosed depression for over two years now and more recently anxiety has decided to accompany me on my journey. I proactively take all the right steps in consulting with my GP, psychologist and psychiatrist from the Mental Health team of my local hospital. I cannot praise these professionals ENOUGH in the work that they do and the support that they offer. However, on occasion I sometimes feel like I am just another case, as if I'm not being heard. Please do not view this in any way as a degradation against these incredible support professionals, this is just a view I sometimes, personally harbour.

    I am getting to the point - I promise. Being on this forum the past few days has helped me realise that I am not alone. I am not crazy and this isn't just affecting me. I felt somewhat empowered and useful for the first time in a long time the other day when I was able to offer some personal advice to a mother who was uncertain of how to help her son deal with his depression, watching my own mum struggle with her frustration in how to support me and sharing with this lady what my mother and I have figured out works for the both of us now.

    I am finding the engagement with this community just as therapeutic as any session with my psychologist, if not more because I feel as if I am giving something back :)

    19 people found this helpful
  3. Gruffudd
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Gruffudd avatar
    2243 posts
    9 November 2015

    Hello everyone,

    One reason I reply is that I like the sound of my own voice. Seriously. When I take the time to write I get a different perspective on what is going inside my own head and that can help.

    Other reasons though, I want others to have an easier run then I have had, Community matters - I have been supported and I want to give back, I am not alone and nor should anyone else be, and most of all I am interested in what others have to say...

    Rob.

    13 people found this helpful
  4. Paul
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Paul avatar
    766 posts
    9 November 2015 in reply to Chris B

    Love the kittenz ChrisB!

    Part of my recovery has involved finding more meaning in my life - more purpose. I started to feel a bit emotionally stronger and jumped on the forums. I've found that giving support, kind words and some of my "tips" from my own experience to be extremely rewarding. I've found a sense of community.

    There is a bonus when I receive a reply from someone and have them say - thanks I'm feeling a bit better or that they thought they were the only one who felt the feelings they are having. It's a beautiful feeling to know that you've made a difference to someone's life and they feel a little better.

    The way I see it is we make a chain of hope when we extend one arm for help and the other gives warmth and support.

    Paul

    12 people found this helpful
  5. Kathryne
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Kathryne avatar
    118 posts
    10 November 2015 in reply to Chris B

    Hi Chris,

    Love the kitty kats.

    I have been living with a person who does suffer with depression and anxiety at times its really overpowering attempting to bring balance into his life.

    For me personally I love to respond to people on the forums and hope to make life a tad better than it is currently for them.

    Seeing others living my life experiences puts further prospective on the fragility of life and to bee extremely grateful for what we do have.

    Regards

    Kathryne

    6 people found this helpful
  6. trustlife
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    trustlife avatar
    89 posts
    10 November 2015
    That's a good post Chris. I wonder if your IT group could set up a workflow that sent an email to use with "There's been a response to your post". When I'm busy I often stop to check on my threads and feel a little guilty if they are over a day old. When I get your "Unanswered Post" I can usually respond with an hour or so. But if it's all out of sight, it can also be out of mind. A pop-up email could certainly improve response times.
    2 people found this helpful
  7. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1552 posts
    10 November 2015 in reply to trustlife

    trustlife said:That's a good post Chris. I wonder if your IT group could set up a workflow that sent an email to use with "There's been a response to your post".

    Yes, that would be very useful.  Our forums software doesn't support this currently, so it requires extra work to be done by our developers. It has been much requested, and is in the pipeline. 

    In the meantime, the easiest way to keep track of your replies is to use the My Threads tab:

    Presentation1


    4 people found this helpful
  8. Paul
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Paul avatar
    766 posts
    10 November 2015 in reply to Chris B

    Ahhhh you must be using Microsoft crap!

     

    1 person found this helpful
  9. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    12994 posts
    11 November 2015 in reply to Chris B
    dear Chris and all those that have replied, after what has happened to me during my time in depression and all the consequences that occurred, just as the same for all of you, I can't do any more than to be as helpful and supportive for those who post in about their problems, unfortunately time prevents me from replying to every one who is desperate for help, so that's when it's great to have those willing to jump in and lend a hand. Geoff.
    8 people found this helpful
  10. oh her
    oh her avatar
    1 posts
    22 November 2015 in reply to Chris B
    Hi I'm new. I was just going to read the posts but I liked the picture. I have to be really careful about how I start my days (what I say and what I think). I don't think I feel ready to talk yet, it makes me really nauseous. Seeing the support you offer each other has helped. Thanks. 
    5 people found this helpful
  11. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1552 posts
    23 November 2015 in reply to oh her
    Hi oh her, welcome! Feel free to jump in whenever you're ready.
    1 person found this helpful
  12. Emmy.
    Emmy. avatar
    1865 posts
    7 July 2016 in reply to Chris B
    I really want to support others but worry that I don't say the right thing or have the right advice.
    2 people found this helpful
  13. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    9845 posts
    7 July 2016 in reply to Emmy.

    Hey Emmy, I always think that I may give the wrong advice....I think of my advice as more of a 'response'. If you are reasonably comfortable responding to a thread with the experience you have, you can help others.

    I dont respond to threads that I have little knowledge about....just the threads that I have some knowledge on :-)

    Paulx

    6 people found this helpful
  14. Emmy.
    Emmy. avatar
    1865 posts
    7 July 2016 in reply to blondguy
    Most of the time it's just to know someone is there for you hey x
    5 people found this helpful
  15. Emmy.
    Emmy. avatar
    1865 posts
    7 July 2016 in reply to blondguy
    Meant to say "just nice to know...."
    1 person found this helpful
  16. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    9845 posts
    7 July 2016 in reply to Emmy.

    Absolutely Emmy, even if you see a post come up under 'young people' and you can 'be there' for them...people will appreciate your appreciate your response. :-)

    Paulx

    4 people found this helpful
  17. Music_Freak
    Music_Freak avatar
    3227 posts
    24 July 2016 in reply to blondguy
    I've tried to join in with things here, but it gets hard when you feel like you're worthless and any advice/support you offer is a waste of time. This is more my issue, of course, but I'm just wondering if there's anything else I could do...I currently just make a detour for the social zone...
    2 people found this helpful
  18. Kazzl
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Kazzl avatar
    1813 posts
    24 July 2016 in reply to Music_Freak

    Hiya Music - you're doing a fine job hun! Sometimes all it takes to make a difference for someone is just a few kind words. You did that with your post on the drinking thread, I really appreciated it.

    As for the social zone, don't underestimate the value of that space. That's where we can connect as friends, share our interests and hobbies and, although it's not obviously about mental health problems, it's actually entirely about mental health problems because it's helping people to share how they are feeling and, most importantly, it's where people give huge support to each other, even if just by sharing a game. By joining in the social threads I reckon you are saying to someone else 'I want to share this with you, I like you and I like something you like'. And how helpful is that when we're struggling eh? Helps you, helps them.

    Cheers

    Kaz

    3 people found this helpful
  19. Music_Freak
    Music_Freak avatar
    3227 posts
    24 July 2016 in reply to Kazzl
    Thanks Kaz, you're helping me a lot today :)
    2 people found this helpful
  20. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1552 posts
    25 July 2016
    +1 to Kaz on the importance of the social threads. I'll update the original post. The social threads are a great way to be part of the community too.
    1 person found this helpful
  21. Paul
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Paul avatar
    766 posts
    30 July 2016 in reply to Music_Freak

    Hey Music_Freak.

    I echo everything Kaz has said and would like to add that it might not feel like you have made a difference for someone because they may read your post and think "Yeah that really helps" but not say it. That's the nature of being on a peer support forum, you may not know how much of a positive impact you've had on someone but I bet you that you do more often than not!

    Paul xx

    1 person found this helpful
  22. Guest_08B8CB20
    Guest_08B8CB20 avatar
    119 posts
    8 January 2017 in reply to Chris B

    Hi everyone who has offered there support kazzl MarkJt Croix and many others all your time and effort has been off great help and a sincerely hope you are all doing well i no i been up and down but without all off your stories and advise thing may very well have turn out different for me your all i my eyes some off the most empathetic beautiful people and you should all be very proud off what your doing for the community

    Thanks once again life savers all of you

    Best wishes

    Thankyou so much regards jason

    Ps will keep on posting here from now on goodnight all

  23. Guest_08B8CB20
    Guest_08B8CB20 avatar
    119 posts
    8 January 2017 in reply to Grunt

    Hi Grunt

    Im hearing you loud and clear for me this is the only real support i have had and i more than likely owe my life to the people that have advised me and stuck buy me through my journey heads up for beyond blue

    Will talk again Grunt

    Best off luck my friend jacezz

    Ps im about to nod off been an exhausting day good night

    1 person found this helpful
  24. Guest_08B8CB20
    Guest_08B8CB20 avatar
    119 posts
    8 January 2017 in reply to geoff

    Hi geoff

    Thanks mate for sharing your story with me i been doing things though a bit lately so was only repling to a couple of gentleman but your story had a profound effect on me and i hope you doing well i hope to get myself a computer soon which will make it easier for me to reply and give back to you wonderful peoplethe old Samsung j1 mini strains the eyes a bit wont be long buddy and i will get more involved in sharing some of the things with you that have helped me help yourself being one of them

    Regards jason

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Lesley Ann
    Lesley Ann avatar
    1 posts
    18 May 2017 in reply to Paul
    Hello Paul, I like what you are saying here, I have not been on the forums for quite some time and your post here rings true. Helping others is regenerating. I decided to do volunteer work with a local community service after I had finished as a carer, but these forums and Beyond Blue actually helped me with my carer responsibilities which I think is also to know what you are doing in the helping mode and guiding someone to recovery. Until I read your post I did not put this together in that way. Its a lovely way to say it. Thanks.
    2 people found this helpful
  26. Tita
    Tita avatar
    1 posts
    30 August 2017 in reply to Gruffudd
    Lovely words, I feel the some, I hope I can help others but sometimes it's hard when I ether can't help myself, luckily I got my hubby and kids support, they are my rock.
    1 person found this helpful
  27. OhmeOhmy
    OhmeOhmy avatar
    39 posts
    5 September 2017
    I mostly just read the posts and find that the support offered by other people is uplifting. Sometimes I post to support others and then I don't need to post my own thread because helping someone else or just trying to has helped me to feel better. kindness is the cure
    4 people found this helpful
  28. jaynedoe
    jaynedoe avatar
    8 posts
    16 November 2018 in reply to Chris B
    I've only been involved in the forum a few weeks. I find it so comforting. I always answer replies to me. I have started to read other people's stories to see if I can help them. It's a five and take thing. It's a great forum.
    6 people found this helpful
  29. jaynedoe
    jaynedoe avatar
    8 posts
    16 November 2018 in reply to Chris B
    Sorry Chris B meant give and take . 😊
    1 person found this helpful
  30. DipsyDora
    DipsyDora avatar
    5 posts
    16 November 2018 in reply to Gruffudd
    Glad to hear I', not the only one that likes the sound of my own voice :)
    1 person found this helpful

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