Forums etiquette: give support to receive support
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.
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 🙂
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.