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Forum charter: Please read. Updated 22/02/16

  • 22-02-2016 9:03pm
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 2,881 Mod ✭✭✭✭

    Hello and welcome to the Long Term Illness Forum :)

    The forum is a place for posters to discuss both physical and mental illness. Users can share their experiences of their condition and engage with others who are in a similar position. Positive mental health is promoted and its importance recognised in the same way as physical health. The forum provides an informal complementary support but is by no means a replacement for professional medical advice or engaging with recognised and qualified service providers.

    The following are guidelines for posting in the forum:
    • Do not seek or impart medical advice of any nature.
    • All posts should be relevant and on topic.
    • Any suicidal or self-harming post will be edited. The poster will be redirected to external supports and resources.
    • Please keep in mind that there are vulnerable users on this forum, who may not actively post, but instead read a lot of posts.
    • No personal abuse, flaming, baiting, or trolling. Please be courteous, civil and post in a constructive way.
    • Moderators may use their discretion to remove any thread/post they see fit if deemed in breach of rules/against the spirit of the forum.
    • Mod decisions are final. If you disagree with any action taken, do not argue on thread, please PM the mod in question. If after a PM exchange with mod a resolution has not been reached, you may consider PMing the category mod (Black Swan) or posting in the Dispute Resolution, Help Desk or Feedback forums as appropriate.
    • Do not identify or speculate as to the identity of a poster, not only is this specific to this forum, but is actually a site-wide rule.
    • The Long Term Illness forum is subject to all the policies, practices, and guidelines contained within FAQ and Terms of Use. These are the guidelines you agreed to when joining
    • Do not engage in back-seat moderation. If you have an issue with a post or feel a post contravenes these guidelines, please use the report post function to bring this to the attention of the mods.

    Two guidelines are particularly important:
    1) The moderators of this forum, and indeed the site itself have a duty of care to posters. We understand the importance of this forum as a means to get some issues off your chest, however the forum does have its limitations. The resources simply aren’t there to protect you and our wider community from posts of a distressing nature, specifically about desires and/or acts of self-harm, suicide attempts, and suicide ideation. Boards HQ has consulted with experts in the mental health field and the consensus is that it can be damaging for the poster, and indeed those reading and responding, to allow such posts to remain in place. Therefore our policy is to not allow posts discussing past or present self-harm or suicide attempts/ideation. This is for a number of reasons:
    • Expression of such distressing posts can have a negative impact upon anyone who reads them. Graphic posts outlining instances of self-harm or suicidal ideation can be triggering for those who are struggling with the same.
    • A response to a poster in distress may be taken the wrong way and have far reaching consequences.
    • There is the danger of the forum replacing mental health services.
    • This forum is run by a team of volunteers, so the forum has neither the capacity nor the expertise to address such posts.
    • While the need to vent is often strong, particularly around expressions of suicide and self-harm, boards has no way of knowing if your intent is serious or not. Similarly no-one knows whether a poster is completely genuine or engaging in attention seeking behaviour, manipulation, or trolling.
    Such posts will be removed by a moderator and users will be sent the following by PM to explain why their post was deleted and to direct them to appropriate supports:
    Hi <user>,
    Please know that you do not have to deal with this on your own.

    We encourage people experiencing difficulties to talk to someone they trust and, if appropriate, to go to their GP. If you need help urgently and outside of GP hours, please go to your nearest A&E department.

    Here at our moderators are not trained to support people experiencing difficulties. There are other organisations better positioned to provide specialised support. These organisations are listed below. We hope that you will follow these up so that you can get the help and support you need.

    If you need immediate help:
    Aware’s Support Line is open 7 days per week, 10am-10pm on 1890 303 302

    The Samaritan’s phone line is open 24/7 on 116 123

    Pieta offer one-to-one, face-to-face support. Click 'Contact us' to find the phone number and opening hours of your nearest branch on their site or email for advice on getting an appointment.

    If you need non-urgent help:
    Aware have a support email service at

    There are some other useful services that you can use also listed here.

    2) Boards HQ has expressed serious concerns about offering to exchange private messages where the nature of such messages is that of counseling/support of distressed or vulnerable users. Posters are leaving themselves open to being hurt or involved in a situation they cannot manage. We understand that sending such messages can come from a place of care and concern but doing so can create a lot of stress for you. If you see offers of such PMs or receive a PM attempting to offer off-thread support, please report it.

    Enjoy the forum, hopefully it will be a helpful and useful resource.

This discussion has been closed.