Hi everyone, we're opening this thread to collate answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the forums. If you have questions, you can add them to this thread and we will periodically update this original post to make things as neat as possible.
How do I start a new thread?
At the top of each section is a blue "new thread" button. Clicking on this will open a dialog box for you to start a new thread. You need to be registered as a member and logged in to see this button and post. You can start new threads in any section, except for the Long Term Support Over The Journey section, where the new thread button has been disabled. Please also read through our tips for writing threads here.
How do I reply to an existing thread?
At the top of each thread is a pink "post a reply" button. If your post is approved, it will appear on the thread in the order in which it was received (not the time it was approved).
There are also reply buttons underneath each individual post in the thread. If you reply using this option, your reply will appear with a note at the top saying your post is "in reply to" that member.
How do I find my threads?
You can find all the threads you have started, or posted in, by using the My Threads tab. This is accessible from the front page of the forums, at www.beyondblue.org.au/forums
How long does a post take to clear moderation?
If you’re posting during business hours, it shouldn’t take longer than a couple of hours. Outside of business hours, it may take up to 12 hours. Please see our detailed post on how the forums are moderated for further information. Moderation of individual posts is not a topic for forum discussion, if you have concerns about how your posts are being moderated, please contact our team offline by email. With the time lag created by moderation, our forums are not suited to real-time, immediate conversations. If you are distressed and looking for immediate support, please use one of our support service channels.
How do I change my display name?
Please get in touch with our team offline. On an anonymous forum like this, your display name is your key means of identification, so we advise against frequent changes of name as this can be confusing for the community when trying to support you.
Can I choose a display name that's the same as ones I use on other forums or social media channels?
We strongly advise that you don't. Our forums are public and all pages are indexed by Google. Putting your display name into a Google search will bring up your forum posts, and if you are active in other online spaces with the same name, these will also come up, allowing your activity to be tracked. If you wish to retain your anonymity, then choose a name that is unique to this forum and not traceable to other websites or social media channels.
How do I delete my account?
Please get in touch with our team offline. When your account is deleted, any posts made prior to deletion remain on the forum. Your avatar is removed from the posts and your display name changed to "Guest". Due to the volume of posts, we will not be able to remove your display name from posts made by others in replies to you.
Why do my posts remain online after my account gets deleted?
When you post, you're entering a conversation with our community in which multiple people have a stake besides yourself. Our members and volunteers spend a lot of time composing replies. There is also a much wider audience (100,000+ per month) that gets a lot out of reading what has been written, often several years after the original thread has been posted. It's not fair to ask the community for support, then ask to have it removed once you've read it so others can't also benefit. We ask users to exercise discretion when posting here - think about the level of detail you are sharing, and think also about who might know you are posting here.
Why has no one answered my post? I must not be worth the effort.
Most posts get answered by the community within 24 hours, but sometimes they slip the net. Please try not to take this personally, the forums can be a very busy space. Some days are slower than others, and some topics hit home with people more than others. The amount of replies received will always vary from day to day. Our community also operates on the principle of 'give support to receive support' - you are more likely to receive replies if you get involved with the community, respond and talk to members on existing threads, in addition to starting a thread of your own.
How do I add an avatar (picture)?
Navigate to My Profile > My Account at the top of the page. It's on the top right in the desktop view, and can be revealed by clicking the icon next to the home button in the mobile view. You will asked to re-enter your username and password for security reasons. Once inside, you will find a link to upload or change a profile picture. Pictures are moderated in the same way your written content is, so changes will not appear straightaway. Be mindful of our community rules when choosing an image, particularly dark or disturbing images that may impact on others who will have to view it every time they see your posts. Face pics are personally identifying and will not be approved.
Do I have to create my own thread?
If you are seeking support for your own personal issues, it is best to create your own thread. Replying in others' threads to detail your own problems without providing words of support for the original poster is seen as hijacking. We also ask members to keep to one personal thread for support rather than starting up new threads.
Can I have more than one personal thread?
We ask members to keep to one thread for support if the issues are substantially the same. It makes it really difficult for the community to provide support for you if they don't have the full story. As we don't currently have the ability to merge threads, moderators will lock threads that are a continuation/duplication of existing threads and refer members back to posting in the original.
What will happen if I create a thread in the wrong section?
Our moderators periodically move threads to appropriate sections. If you wish to have a thread moved, you can report your post to the moderators. Posting another thread on the same topic in a different section is known as cross-posting - moderators will lock or remove these duplicate threads.
Am I allowed to join the conversation on any thread? How do I know where I'm welcome?
The forums are a group discussion space, there are no private conversations here. You are welcome to take part in any discussions provided you are mindful of our community rules. Those wishing to post in the Multicultural Experiences or Sexuality and Gender Identity section should read the guide posts pinned at the top of those sections before contributing.
What if I want to write a very long post because of the circumstances of my problem, and it goes over the 2,500 character limit? Can I start another post and continue my story there?
No. The character limit is there for a reason - posts that go on for longer than one screen, where people have to scroll in order to read, run the risk of people skimming your post and not reading it. Starting up a completely separate thread to continue your story will just add to the confusion, and create more work for moderators in cleaning it up. We provide guidelines for how to get the best out of the forums and have conversations here. If your problem is genuinely too complex to describe within the limit, then the forum is probably not the best avenue for you to be seeking support - we would recommend seeing a professional offline.
I replied to someone and they haven't replied back. I'm really worried about them, can you get in touch with them?
Members are encouraged to respond here only when they feel able to, and multiple messages can place undue pressure on those who are struggling. It's the nature of an online, anonymous space like this that members will come and go, and sometimes you won't have closure on how someone is doing. We understand this can be upsetting, so we've prepared this thread to discuss issues of looking after ourselves while supporting others. beyondblue's trained moderators often work offline (invisible to you) in the event that members are at risk of harm to themselves or others.
Some people have badges, what do they mean?
You can find out the purpose of individual badges by mousing over them, or press and hold on a mobile/touch device. The main ones you will see are our volunteer Community Champions, blueVoices members, and staff such as the community manager or moderator. In our Multicultural Experiences section, we have Multicultural Correspondents who have volunteered time to initiate and facilitate discussions in that area. We also have Valued Contributors which are nominated by the community.
How do I become a community champion?
Community champions are formalised volunteer roles within the forums. Champions act primarily to post in support of others. To become a community champion, you will need to have been posting on the forums already for a little while (100+ quality posts), have a thorough understanding of our community rules and values, currently be in a headspace where you feel you are able to provide consistent support for others, and be able to provide us with a current Working With Children's check. More information is available in the community champion thread here.
Can I discuss the medication I use?
We don't allow discussion of specific prescription medications or remedies. An anonymous online forum is not a suitable place to be seeking advice on medication. Any such discussions would be anecdotal by nature, and therefore unhelpful. General discussion on experiences with medication is allowed. Please see Dr Kim's post on this policy for more information.
Can I give my email address or phone number to someone on the forum?
No. This forum is an anonymous space, and for the safety of all our members we don't allow information to be shared that would facilitate offline personal contact. This also includes sharing the details of other online channels you may be a member of.
Where can I find a doctor/psychiatrist/psychologist/support group in suburb/town/city?
This is an anonymous forum, so we can't provide recommendations for services in specific areas. You will find links to practitioner directories in our Find a professional section, and information on support groups is available on the Black Dog Institute site here.
Where can I find friends/social groups in suburb/town/city?
As above, this is an anonymous forum where the sharing of contact details is not permitted. The forums are not a connection service; we do, however, have lots of conversations about how you can build and improve relationships in your offline world.
When should I use the Report Post function? What happens when I use it?
If you see something that you feel is in violation of our community rules, then you can report the post. More information on this, and what happens when you report a post, is in our moderation thread.
There's a thread that no one has replied to, should I report that to moderators?
Unless you are concerned that the person may be at immediate risk of harm to themselves or others, or there is something in the post that violates our community rules, then we would ask that you don't report unanswered posts to moderators. Posts made to our forums are there to be answered by the community - please reach out and offer words of support if you see unanswered posts. It's worth remembering that immediate support is not available via the forums. Some days are slower than others, and some topics hit home with people more than others. The amount of replies received will always vary from day to day. Our support service channels are available for immediate support.
Can I return to my thread if I have been away for a time? How do I find it?
If you're returning to the forum to discuss an issue that is a continuation of a previous story, then we ask that you keep to the same thread. You can find all threads you have started, or contributed to, by using the My Threads tab.
I had posts removed from the BB Cafe when I was trying to get support. Why?
The BB Cafe (and the BB Social Zone section) is a place to come and escape from talking about your personal worries for a while, to relax and socialise. The discussions on our forums can be pretty heavy at times, and we created this section to give everyone some respite. If you're wanting to talk through the more serious issues going on in your life at the moment, please start up a support thread in the appropriate section (if you don't have one already) and go from there. If personal issues come up in discussion, it's OK to let members in the cafe know here that you have a support thread open and invite them to come and chat with you there.
I had posts removed because they were deemed to be too flirtatious. Why won't you let people have fun?
We all like to have fun, but comments that can be taken in a sexually suggestive manner are really difficult to manage, particularly on a forum where a significant number of our members have experience of sexual assault or abuse. We've had consistent reports telling us that generally, members find these kinds of comments uncomfortable - so best leave the cheeky comments for people you know in person offline. Please see also our guidelines for discussing relationships on the forums.
I've had an argument with someone on the forums, is it OK to talk about that on another thread?
No, we would ask that you don't do this. All threads on the forums are publicly accessible, including to the person who you have had the argument with. Taking your arguments into multiple threads disrupts other members' support conversations, has the effect of escalating the argument, and can be interpreted by the other member as being talked about being their back, or having other members rallied against them. If you cannot respectfully resolve an argument with another member, you can agree to disagree, withdraw from the thread, and move on. Members that are unable to move on from disagreements and keep trying to reignite arguments will be asked to leave the forums. If you see any posts on the forums that you believe cross the line from disagreement to being disrespectful, report them to moderators and we will take a look.
Can I have more than one forum account?
No. Running multiple accounts on a forum is a practice known as "sockpuppeting", and in a space like this one where we take members' posts at face value to provide support, this kind of behaviour can be very distressing. Where we discover that members are running multiple accounts, the duplicate accounts will be banned from the forum. This rule also applies to members who have been banned from our forums and are attempting to return under a different alias.
Why do you ban people? Isn't this supposed to be a place to get support?
We take our duty of care in providing a safe environment for all forum members seriously, and this includes recognising when a member may benefit from participating in our forums and when it may be more appropriate to seek support offline. Repeated violation of our community rules and values, causing distress to other members, ignoring feedback from our moderators around appropriate posting, or abusive remarks directed at our staff and volunteers are key reasons that will lead to a ban. We're happy to say that bans rarely happen. Over 80,000 members have joined the forums in the last four years, and only a few times a year do we need to ask people to leave the space. Members that are banned from these forums are provided with referrals to alternate support services.
I'm doing a research project, can I post about it on the forums?
No. This is a support community, designed to assist those who are reaching out to discuss personal issues that are often very difficult. beyondblue conducts a limited number of research projects each year involving the forums, you can get in touch with us offline if you have a proposal you'd like us to look at. Due to the volume of requests received, we are unable to assist with school projects or university assignments.
How is the information I submit on this website used?
Last updated: 12 June 2018