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Create a subforum for mental health?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
After looking at the long thread below and my own observations over recent weeks, I've noticed that thesite is seeing a huge influx of people looking for mental health support - which is great, as it means it's doing it's job but as a result the H+WB forum is becoming saturated with these kinds of threads and I often feel that the general health threads get lost in there an I feel this may put people off seeking advice on other health issues. There is also the current question over the usefulness of the 'triggering' titles. So....may I put forward a suggestion of creating a subforum within H+WB for mental health support and do away with the triggering titles, as they will then have a more specific 'home'. But in it's place add to the guidelines for people to make thread titles more specific?

I've also noticed several users creating multiple threads looking for support and the forum quickly fills up with one persons threads essentially all dealing with the same thing, which isn't really fair on other users imo - so maybe add to the guidelines for people with long standing or multiple issues to create a singular thread (a bit like YSH's) which makes it easier to track their progress and give more specific advice and support, and would also help stop the forum from cluttering up? I have suggested this once but it appears to have fallen on deaf ears however.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ballerina wrote: »
    After looking at the long thread below and my own observations over recent weeks, I've noticed that thesite is seeing a huge influx of people looking for mental health support - which is great, as it means it's doing it's job but as a result the H+WB forum is becoming saturated with these kinds of threads and I often feel that the general health threads get lost in there an I feel this may put people off seeking advice on other health issues. There is also the current question over the usefulness of the 'triggering' titles. So....may I put forward a suggestion of creating a subforum within H+WB for mental health support and do away with the triggering titles, as they will then have a more specific 'home'. But in it's place add to the guidelines for people to make thread titles more specific?

    I've also noticed several users creating multiple threads looking for support and the forum quickly fills up with one persons threads essentially all dealing with the same thing, which isn't really fair on other users imo - so maybe add to the guidelines for people with long standing or multiple issues to create a singular thread (a bit like YSH's) which makes it easier to track their progress and give more specific advice and support, and would also help stop the forum from cluttering up? I have suggested this once but it appears to have fallen on deaf ears however.

    Thoughts?

    Mental health and physical health are really closely related though. This came up years ago when JimV was around the first time, I'll see if I can find the thread...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with the singular thread idea hugely!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know they're closely related but they're not always related. I just feel it may be more useful to have the 'I'm suicidal/can't cope/struggling' kind of threads separate from the 'I've got flu/twisted my ankle/have a rash' kind of threads. Especially as H+WB is mostly dealing with the former these days,
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Where would the help with self harm injuries go? IBS? eating disorders stuff? What if you feel physically rubbish and it affects your mental health? Also what about the 'is this constipation a side effect of my anti-depressants' threads. I honestly wouldn't know where to post stuff.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's why I'm putting the question forward so people can discuss it. It's just an idea
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it is a good idea to separate them out. Obviously, some posts could fit into both - SH injuries, eating disorders etc but then again this is not unique to those topics.

    For example I created a post about an old housemate and them being unsafe and making me scared to live in the same house as them. I put it in the H&W section as I was worried for my Wellbeing, but I just as easily could have placed it in the Home, Law & Money category. It fits nicely in both.

    Things will never be completely clear cut but I think it would help to separate things out, as the H&W does get a lot of mental health questions.

    They're my thoughts anyway :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think a bigger issue is the same posters continually starting new threads to say and ask what is essentially the same thing over and over again. That's not to say that I don't have sympathy, but there doesn't need to be a new thread for each episode of feeling shit. I guess that is for the mods to use the moderation tools to merge threads though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm pretty sure we've had a discussion along these lines before, and at the time the general consensus was that separating the two created artificial boundaries between mental and physical health that for a lot of people don't really exist.

    That said, I really get where you're coming from with the point that people looking for support for mental health type crises is starting to feel like it dominates the boards at the moment.

    When a similar thing came up with dark poems in Creative there was a sticky put in reminding people to add updates and new stuff to a thread if their work, to help keep things grouped. Maybe some Mod type guidance along a similar lines for people looking for support could be the way to go. I think it has the potential to work better for everyone. There are 3 users I can think of at the moment who have 'their own' threads, for various on going issues that they update as time moves on. Not only does it mean that a couple of individuals don't dominate the boards - but it seems easier for everyone to follow what's going on and give better support.

    A Mod posting a sticky and uodate to the supporting each other guidance might do the trick.

    The other option would be to have a kind if 'support' sub forum in H&WB, but I can't help wonder if with some of the current members that would risk driving a kind if 'one up manship'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A support sub forum would probably work better, as I was thinking for more the crisis/support threads and keep everything else in the main forum?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ballerina wrote: »
    A support sub forum would probably work better, as I was thinking for more the crisis/support threads and keep everything else in the main forum?

    Isn't that a bit stigmatising to seperate off the mental stuff from health? Why not start a physical health sub-forum?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    Isn't that a bit stigmatising to seperate off the mental stuff from health? Why not start a physical health sub-forum?

    I was worried about that... I think it would be more beneficial for the super-mods to use their wizard powers to merge the multiple threads that flood the health subforum
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think a sub forum is a good idea, mental health is not a hidden sub category that deserves less prominence or to be hidden away.

    I think it really is a case of forcing certain posters to keep everything in one thread rather than starting a new one every 20 minutes saying "I still feel shit". Threads can easily be merged and they should be. That would prevent certain posters dominating.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    I think I'd support the "merge threads" idea, since it really isn't easy to make a distinction between the "two types" of threads. Besides, I've seen several start being about physical health and ending up being about mental health, as well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A load of sub-forums were just removed, and I think that that helped to inject more life into the place. Adding sub-forums would therefore be a Bad Plan.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    I don't think a sub forum is a good idea, mental health is not a hidden sub category that deserves less prominence or to be hidden away.

    I think it really is a case of forcing certain posters to keep everything in one thread rather than starting a new one every 20 minutes saying "I still feel shit". Threads can easily be merged and they should be. That would prevent certain posters dominating.

    Heard :thumb:
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Ballerina wrote: »
    I know they're closely related but they're not always related. I just feel it may be more useful to have the 'I'm suicidal/can't cope/struggling' kind of threads separate from the 'I've got flu/twisted my ankle/have a rash' kind of threads. Especially as H+WB is mostly dealing with the former these days,

    I think I'd be inclined to agree that if the boards are being used more actively for helping people to improve their mental health, then hiding it away in a sub-forum is perhaps not wise. I've started to wonder whether or not there's an argument to say peer-support forums are actually much better equipped to support people to improve their mental health than they are at supporting people with the ins and outs of physical health - the answer tends to be the same "You need to get that checked out by your doctor or call NHS direct etc." What a forum can provide is empathy/sympathy and distraction from the flu, twisted ankle etc which is essentially boosting someone's mental health when they're struggling physically.

    This isn't to say it's not important for those struggling with their mental health to seek medical attention - but it's more dependent on the situation and there's perhaps a lot more that TheSite community can offer ongoing to those who's issues relate to emotional wellbeing. I know this can lead to uneasy reading at times, but I'm always amazed at the transition of those who come feeling suicidal who are then swept up in positive community spirit and go on to tell us what positive steps they are taking to improve their lives.

    At the last leaders chat, we were also talking about the value of people talking about getting help and how processes have worked/been challenging for them - this is something a few people have started doing and if continues, will improve the overall feel and value of the forum. :)

    So, at the moment, I'm wary of separating them - would be great to hear more thoughts.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Some forums I'm on have 'log' threads and they are well received. Not for mental health though but that is this websites niche compared to other websites. Perhaps we should think about ways people could be encouraged to keep a log - not only for support but it can actually be a useful tool for self improvement as it encourages you to be introspective even on good days.
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