How can we improve the forums? Your suggestions and comments please
Hi all, this thread is a running commentary for all members on things for improvements to the forums. This can be anything from how it looks, the categories, to moderation, community rules etc.
While we might not be able to implement everything straightaway, or keep everyone happy all of the time, we'd like to hear about what you think we can do better.
This is not a thread for discussing the moderation or editing of individual posts - if you have questions about this please contact the team offline via email firstname.lastname@example.org
To avoid repeating suggestions already received, below are some results from our last user survey giving an indication of which new features people would like to see on the forums. This survey was answered by 1,597 users:
44% - Email notification when I have a reply on the forum
39% - Access to the forums via an app
27% - Ability to block seeing posts by specific users
25% - Ability to contact users privately
25% - Ability to use emoticons
25% - Ability to follow posts by specific users
24% - Ability to share links
23% - Forum posts visible only to registered users
22% - A profile, viewable by others users, where I can introduce myself
21% - Ability to quickly access all posts by a particular user
15% - Ability to tag users in a conversation
10% - Ability to share images
6% - Ability to share videos
17% - None of these
Recently i had a chat with a peer worker (someone who has lived experience with struggling with poor mental health or health)... and he said to me that psychologists didnt work for him, and although you hear about them on movies or the image of - tht's just where u go to get mental health help, they can at times offer very dated and clinical advice.
I felt more seen and heard and felt I understodd my own very mixed experiences with pyschologists. It doesnt mean that all are bad, some are so breathtakingly good, but can we not accept that the mental health system has flaws, that some ppl who work in the field are bad at it and do harm, and that we as MH consumers have to put ourselves first, and not gaslight our own experience?!
i know what u mean being told u are not willing to accept help, just becuse uv had a negative experience - that's a form of victim blaming, and assumes that the help is out there, affordable, accesible and high quality for all at all the times. Particularly now during the pandemic that is not the case for so many ppl.
Mark, I know how easy it is to feel rejected and hurt and unwelcome when you are struggling. I hope you can see from the above responses (and I heartily agree) that you are absolutely wanted and welcome here, and your positive contribution to the forums is recognised.
Golden, you've said pretty much what I am thinking. Venting or speaking of negative things is vital for many of us in managing our mental health. I know for my part how important it is to get the bile out, to be heard and understood. I'm not someone who can pretend everything is peachy when it isn't, and to have someone at me to be or think positive puts me in a much worse place. I can't come out the other side and find the positives without being ugly levels of honest about the negatives and how I feel about them, and this is true for many. Thank you Sophie for clarifying that venting about our experiences (and importantly not directing it at one another, which is unproductive and unnecessarily hurtful) is not something we are expected not to do, it would void the point of the forums for a lot of people, I think.
I agree also about suggestions of helplines, MHCPs and psychologists. They are reasonable suggestions but most definitely not a one size fits all solution. I am among those whose experiences with psychologists and GPs has been various degrees of useless to harmful and most certainly do not believe that these avenues have to be the be all and end all of avenues for healing. Golden and Sleepy, I'm sorry you guys have had similar experiences.
fully support venting on the forums
feel like everyone should be empowered to express themselves as they need
i think everyone will have a different style of supporting ppl on the forums and seeking support and its all okay, drawing the line and posts which are mean, threatening, blaming, accusing, anything toxic is not okay.
Celebrating each others successes and sympathising with the low points is healthy and a part of our lovely community.
Mark i learn so much from u here and hope frm bottom of my heart u dont feel uncomfortable here and will know that u are welcomed
Hello Rt, I quite agree, empty promises only creates mental problems, that expectation of something we're told is going to happen, but doesn't, isn't going to give anybody any confidence, and I'm sorry to say that'd exactly what's been happening for years, with a promise 'it will change in the new forums'.
I've been hearing this once Chris took over but has now moved on, and if your psychologist promises you something, that's exactly what you expect would happen.
The mental health plan should allow the first 2 or 3 sessions to be bulk billed before the 6 to 10 sessions begin, because it's a waste of those free sessions to know whether or not you and the psychologist are suited for each other, but this isn't to say that the psych will only favour those who are paying the full price.
A Medicare price should be allowed for these 2 or 3 sessions so this doesn't happen and expect this to be the case, but there has to be a limit on how many of these sessions are permitted, so that the person doesn't go from one psych to another, simply because their help won't get any better.
Something that is very special about this forum is the passion of the members to ensure that it is the best place that it can be. We are incredibly fortunate that you all feel comfortable expressing your opinions on where we can improve and what you want this space to be.
We understand that is has been frustrating watching and waiting for the new forums to come along – we feel the same way. We will have some updates later today and will continue to regularly post here about our progress towards a brand-new site.
Sleepy21 we think that what you said about celebrating success and sympathising with low points gets to the heart of what we try to do here – thank you for sharing.
We hope that this forum is a helpful and safe space for everyone to share their story, receive support and offer what has worked for them. When we suggest our phoneline or to see a GP we do so because we understand how complex Mental Health conditions can be and we know that a supportive and consistent community-based treatment team can be successful. We agree that one answer can’t solve everything, but we think this is a great place for us all to start. If it isn’t right for you right now, that’s ok and we hope that the words of encouragement and understanding here can help in some way.
The greatest value in this site is you, the members who give their time, energy and empathy in offering kindness and support to those in need. It is an all to rare thing to see so many people come together in a space to validate each other and express understanding without judgement.
Thank you all for being here and for sharing so much of yourselves so that others can feel less alone in their own journey.
I hesitate to join the conversation but I do think you have a valid point Amberlite.
Sometimes we all need a gentle nudge that we need to do something to help ourselves, understanding that this is very difficult for some.
I guess suggestions have to be made very gently.
I reckon suggestions need to be presented as options, a gently option, a neutral option, a hard option.
That kind of thing, some people respond to gentle, others do not.
Some people come here seeking reassurance, others want practical advise.. and other reasons too of course.
i agree with aaronsis, sophie, blues clues golden and others that you belong here. I have found your posts refreshing and friendly. I hope will decide to return.
After the fires, I came here and there is no way i could be positive but just being here helped me.
People were so kind and it helped. I like the way there a variety of people on the forum with many different life experiences. I like the way we can express our points of view here .
hi quirky - i learn a lot from others perspectives here as well. I also like how if someone doesn't agree with something, they can politely say so, and its made me less sensitive. There are some really good discussions here (like this one) where ppl come from a lot of different perspectives and are tolerant of diff views.
I'm never going to support ppl encouraging others to take meds on here, but i can hear other ppl explain how they approach such a topic, and it helps me understand the different facets of the issue. Ppl are overall very respectful and don't shut ppl down for differing views. I think that's important for a lot of us, learning to disagree safely.
I'm glad u found this space comforting after what u went through with the bushfires. I'm glad this space is here.