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MUST READ: ReachOut.com Community Guidelines

Our Community Guidelines

 

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Our forums are based on the values of courage, compassion, generosity, inclusiveness, responsibility and fun - you can read more about that here

 

The forums are a moderated peer support space for Australian youth aged 14-25.  They are monitored from 9am-11pm. If you’re not feeling the best, we recommend posting in moderated hours.  We are not a crisis support service and cannot offer one to one counselling. 

If you are in crisis or thinking imminently of ending your life, please seek urgent crisis support such as the suicide callback service or lifeline (13 11 14) , or call 000. 

 

 We have a page of resources for finding urgent help here. 

 Unfortunately we cannot support international users, but have a link of useful supports here. 

 

1. Posting Safely

 

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Community members often come to the forums to share their experiences and talk about tough times - this is a moderated, safe space to have those conversations, but there are some guidelines here to keep the space safe for everyone.

 

  • Remain anonymous at all times - no identifying information including email, social media links or handles, full names, school names/ suburbs or telephone numbers are allowed on the forums. Please don’t ask for other member’s emails or attempt to identify them, or disclose information that allows someone to identify you. 

 

  • Talking about self-harm or suicide: we understand that some users may be experiencing thoughts of suicide, or of harming themselves. This is a space where we can have those conversations, but we need to make sure that our users are safe. 

If you post to the forum to reach out for help and support about self-harm and

suicide, be sure to clearly tell the forum that you are safe and taking steps to

contact your supports. ReachOut staff may contact you to confirm if you are safe and explore what supports you have available- we need you to respond to safety checks. 

We have a detailed thread on how to talk safely about suicide here 

 

Please include trigger warnings for any topics that may be distressing for other members by adding “TW” on the title of your post. 

Do not include explicit details of methods of self harm or suicide- this can be triggering for other users and make the forums an unsafe space. 

Talking about strategies to avoid self harm can be helpful for the community and is allowed. 

We have a detailed thread about how to talk safely about self-harm here. 



 

  • Knowing when to take a break

Sometimes it can be helpful to step away from the forums, and seek out professional support. ReachOut Moderators may encourage you to do this if someone needs more support than we can provide. 

 

 

  • Talking about eating disorders

We encourage a body positive attitude, to learn more about what this means, read more here 

It is okay to talk generally about eating disorders and how this may be affecting you - if you’re unsure about how to post safely, ReachOut staff will be happy to help you. 

Please do not share specific methods or behaviours associated with disordered eating (such as fasting, purging or laxative abuse). This can be harmful and triggering for other users. 

Please do not share specific information about body weight, body measurements or weight loss methods. 

 

Please avoid specific medical advice 

 

  • Shared experience can be really valuable, however please do not post any specific medical advice. This includes names and dosages of medications, or names of specific health care professionals.
  • An example of a conversation talking safely about medication is here
  • Please do not suggest a diagnosis for another forum member, or give specific advice about medication. 
  • Please do not give any specific legal or financial advice to other forum members.

 

2. Community Behaviour “House Rules”

 

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We have some house rules that help us keep the forums a safe, fun space for everyone. 

 

  • Be kind! We respect and value a range of opinions and experience. We don’t tolerate any form of abusive or aggressive behaviour towards staff or other community members. Swearing generally is okay, swearing AT other people is not.  Respectful disagreements are okay, personal attacks are not. 
  • Any form of discrimination or prejudice is not okay. 
  • Have fun! We love sharing appropriate GIFs, memes, and playing games - just no sexually explicit or violent content. 
  • Please be considerate of other users - include trigger warnings for posts that may be distressing, avoid explicit or graphic details. 
  • Please take some time to look around the board and post in the right space - this means that community members who want something light hearted can go to those spaces, and people who are having a tough time can get support. Moderators may move your post to a more appropriate space if needed.
  • Please avoid tagging large numbers of other users, especially if the post may be distressing. 
  • Spamming is not okay - spam posts will be removed and users banned. 
  • If you see a post that is concerning you, please use the report button, or email us at forums@reachout.com
  • Please do not post research links, surveys, or any form of commercial material to the forums.
  • Do not create multiple accounts 

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Mandatory reporting: 

ReachOut Australia are mandatory reporters, the safety of young people is really important to us. We want you to be across what that means so please check out below:

 

  • We are mandatory reporters which means when a young person is at risk of harm or has been harmed in the past, we have to make reports to Child Protection, emergency services (such as ambulance or police) and/or other relevant authorities. 
  • When we say harm that can mean, danger to yourself and/or others, physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse or psychological abuse.
  • We will need to make a report if you are at immediate risk of harm right now or you are putting others at risk of harm. Or if you post that you know of a young person under 18 who could be at risk of harm now or has been harmed in the past.
  • When it comes to sexual activity, young people under 16  are not legally able to consent, so we need to make reports about these incidents as well.

 

We want you to be all across this so that you can make informed choices about what you share online with ReachOut. If there is anything about this you don’t understand we encourage you to let us know in your response or email us at forums@reachout.com

 

How we may help you stick to the guidelines

 

  • ReachOut staff or Moderators may edit or remove any posts that do not meet our guidelines without notice.
  • ReachOut staff and Moderators may ask you to step off the forums to seek professional, medical or crisis supports. We are a peer support service and do not offer clinical services or crisis support- there may be times we refer you to clinical/crisis services for further support. We trust that you will take steps to seek supports outside of ReachOut when you need them.
  • Should guidelines continue to be broken, we may put in place time restrictions, pauses or bans on your account at the discretion of the ReachOut staff. ReachOut staff may contact you by email to communicate this decision, provide referrals to appropriate services and encourage you to stick to the community guidelines.
  • Some guideline breaches may lead to an automatic ban including spamming, trolling, inciting hatred or discrimination, bullying,  posting with commercial interests or for purposes not related to the values of our forums, evading site controls or threatening violence.
  • Posts that do not meet the guidelines or may contain triggering/unsafe/distressing information that could be harmful to the community may be edited or removed at the discretion of ReachOut staff and Moderators.
  • Posts may be moved to new threads or between boards at the discretion of ReachOut staff and Moderators.
  • International members: When a member posts from a country outside of Australia, a staff member may send an email to the member with referrals to services in their local country. The account will then be banned within 24 hours. International users will still be able to view and read the forums.

 

 

 

 

 

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com

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