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Frequently asked questions (FAQ) - Beyond Blue Forums

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  
Hi everyone, we created this page to collate answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums. If you have questions, you can send them to modsupport@beyondblue.org.au. We will periodically update this page with common questions.
 

Contents

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Start, reply to or find discussions or posts


How do I start a new discussion?

On the home page you should see a blue "start a discussion" button. If you’re on a Forums section or discussion, you’ll see this on the top left. You need to be registered as a member and logged in to see this button and post. You can start new discussions in any section Please also read through our tips for writing discussions here.  

new-thread
 


How do I reply to an existing discussion?

To the right of each post is a blue " reply" button. Clicking this will open a text editor below the most recent post. Your text will autosave as you type.

There are also reply buttons underneath each individual post in the discussion.

in-reply-to


How do I find my discussions?

You can find all the discussions you have started by hitting the 'Your discussions' link on the top panel of the page.

my-threads


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.


Do I have to create my own discussion?

If you are seeking support for your own personal issues, it is best to create your own discussion.  Replying in others' discussions 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 discussion for support rather than starting up new discussions.  


Can I have more than one personal discussion?

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 discussions, moderators will lock discussions that are a continuation/duplication of existing discussions and refer members back to posting in the original.


What will happen if I create a discussion in the wrong section? 

Our moderators periodically move discussions to appropriate sections.  If you wish to have a discussion moved, you can report your post to the moderators.  Posting another discussion on the same topic in a different section is known as cross-posting - moderators will lock or remove these duplicate discussions.


Am I allowed to join the conversation on any discussion? 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 Forums guidelines.  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 discussion 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.  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. In these cases, 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. Beyond Blue's trained moderators often work offline (invisible to you) in the event that members are at risk of harm to themselves or others.


Can I return to my discussion if I have been away for a time? How do I find it?

If you're returning to the Forums to discuss an issue that is a continuation of a previous story, then we ask that you keep to the same discussion.  You can find all discussions you have started, by using the 'Your discussions' tab.


How do I see the discussions I have created?

Simply click on the Your discussions heading in the banner at the top of the screen.


How do I see all the discussions I am following?

Click on your profile in the top right corner, click on settings from the pop-up Menu. Scroll down to Follows & Notifications, then Discussions you follow.


Account and profile


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 Forums. 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. 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 discussion was started. 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 about who might be reading.


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 discussions, in addition to starting a discussion of your own.


How do I add a profile image or avatar?

At the top right of the page, you should see a small image of a person, just next to the “Immediate Support” button. Clicking here will show you some “Profile” options. Select “Profile”, and you can then select “Edit profile image”. You will be asked to re-enter your username and password for security reasons. 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, as dark or disturbing images will not be approved and neither will images of your face as they may be personally identifying.


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, Blue Voices 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.


Why can't I access the forums registration page?

If you are in Australia and are receiving a message saying you are an “international user”, we’d appreciate you taking the following steps to resolve the issue before contacting us.

  1. Check if you are using a VPN. VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are used by workplaces and individuals for a number of reasons, including to access international streaming services such as Netflix. VPNs can mask the true location of the device you’re using to access the Internet, and if your VPN is located in a country other than Australia you will receive our “international user” message. Turning off your VPN, or accessing our registration page from a device not connected to a VPN should allow you to register for our forums.
  2. Check the location of your IP address. Click here to test the location of the IP address you are using to access the Internet. If your location is given as outside of Australia, you will need to contact your internet service provider for further assistance. If the location given is in Australia, please note the “IP address” (in the first column of results) and supply this along with your postcode and your internet service provider's name (eg Telstra, iinet etc) in an email to modsupport@beyondblue.org.au.

If you are outside Australia, you will not be able to register for the forums. As Beyond Blue is primarily funded by Australian Governments (both National and State/Territory) and members of the Australian public, we need to ensure that our service is accessible and available primarily within Australia. We encourage users outside of Australia to access services in the country where they are, or to utilise international services, of which there are a number that can be found via Google.


Forum rules


Can I have more than one Forums account?

No. Running multiple accounts on the Forums 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 Forums.  This rule also applies to members who have been banned from our Forums and are attempting to return under a different alias.


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. The Forums 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 website.


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.


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 for you, please start up a support discussion 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 BB Cafe know here that you have a support discussion 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 discussion?

No, we would ask that you don't do this.  All discussions on the Forums are publicly accessible, including to the person who you have had the argument with.  Taking your arguments into multiple discussions 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 discussion, 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.


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 Forums 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 guidelines 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.  Beyond Blue 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?

All information held by Beyond Blue is subject to our Privacy Policy.  Personal information contained in your profile, such as your date of birth, postcode and email address, are not visible to the public.  However your chosen display name, avatar / profile image, and posts are visible to anyone browsing the Beyond Blue website, regardless of whether or not they are a member.  By posting to the Beyond Blue Forums, you grant us a non-exclusive right to reproduce and use any material you post.  We sometimes use material from the Forums as part of presentations or research projects.


Report post


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 Forums guidelines, then you can report the post. More information on this, and what happens when you report a post, is in our moderation discussion.


There's a discussion 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.  


Notifications and settings


How do I update my notifications?

Click on your profile in the top right corner and select Settings. Scroll down to Follows & Notifications, then Notification Settings. Click on the checkboxes to opt-in or opt-out of notifications.


Some of the settings have a default value of ‘Never’ - why is this?

We’ve disabled some of these features for the time being as we are not yet using them. Our Forums platform is built for the future and includes many additional features and functionality.


What is the difference between linear and nested format for viewing posts?

Linear - replies to a discussion are listed and sorted chronologically in a linear way, based on reply date.
Nested - replies are listed under each other so you can clearly see if responses have been made to a particular post within the discussion.


Can I access the Forums on my mobile device?

Yes - our Forums are mobile friendly and have been tested on the Windows 10, MacOS, iOS and Android operating systems. For the optimum mobile browsing experiences we recommend using devices and browsers in the following table.
Any other devices that are not in the table below may not provide the best user experience.

OS Devices Browsers Versions
Windows 10 Microsoft Surface Google Chrome 102
Microsoft Edge 101
Internet Explorer 11
Mozilla Firefox 100
Opera 87
MacOS Macbook Safari 15.3
Mozilla Firefox 100
iOS iPhone 13
iPhone 12
iPhone 11
iPad
Safari 15, 15.3, 15.4, 14, 13
Google Chrome 15, 15.3, 15.4, 14, 13
Android Samsung Galaxy S22
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S22+
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S21+
Google Chrome 12, 11
Mozilla Firefox 12, 11
Samsung Internet 12, 11


A post I used to follow is no longer relevant, how do I unfollow?

Simply navigate to the post and click the ‘Unfollow Post’ button. You can also see all the posts you follow in your profile.

unfollow-posts


Display names / usernames


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 our Forums and not traceable to other websites or social media channels.


Why is my display name (or someone else's) different?

Our Forums platform limits the characters allowed for display names. The following characters are allowed: alphanumeric (a-z, A-Z, 0-9), dashes and underscores. If you registered for the Forums while we were using older technology, you may have been able to use other characters. If that was the case, we have updated your display name to ensure you can continue to access the Forums. Please contact modsupport@beyondblue.org.au at any time if you would like to update your display name.


Why do some display names have characters that I couldn't use in my display name?

People who registered for the Forums prior to June 2022 may still have display names that contain special characters. This is because our historical Forums platform allowed more characters. Some of the special characters (like emojis) in display names will stop you from being able to log in, and others are not recommended. Beyond Blue has taken the decision to only allow new display names with alphanumeric characters (a-z, A-Z, 0-9), dashes and underscores to give us more flexibility to upgrade our system in future and to ensure the safety and security of our Forums.


Getting involved


How do I become a Community Champion?

Click here to learn more about Community Champions, and how to express interest in becoming one.


Last updated: 26 February 2024