MUST READ: ReachOut.com Guidelines
MUST READ: ReachOut.com Guidelines
ReachOut.com is for 14-25 year olds living in Australia. If you are an international user, you will be redirected to a service in your local area.
Remember: These forums are not monitored 24/7 and we can not guarantee that someone will see or reply to anything you post. This is not counselling or a crisis service - if you need to talk to someone now click here.
We respect your privacy and anonymity, however there are times when we are obliged under law to make reports to the relevant authorities. There are two main times when this occurs: 1, If you make a post that indicates you are at imminent risk of attempting suicide then we will share your IP address and any other information we have about you with emergency services; 2. If you are under 18 and you post that you are at risk of harm from a family member or someone you live with.
- Get involved
- Be constructive and focus on strengths
- Try to get your opinion across clearly and concisely including subject lines (thread/topics).
- Respect what others think and believe: be non-judgemental and don't make assumptions
- Be yourself but stay anonymous. Chose a unique display name and don’t pretend to be anyone else.
- Think carefully about what you post online. What you write today could still be there in 5, 10 or even 50 years!
- Give credit to others if you used their ideas or words.
- Report content that may be causing a problem or if you are worried about someone.
- Call 000 if you/someone are in immediate risk of harm. Use Emergency help link (top right of your screen).
- Contact us (email@example.com) before you post campaigns, projects, media requests, research projects/trials, links to other websites & assignment surveys/interviews
- Ensure your posts are age appropriate - ReachOut.com is for 14-25 year olds so there are times when we may refer you to another service if you are outside this age range.
- The forums are only for users within Australia, if you live abroad please refer to your local online youth services. See a list of some other countries and their services here.
- Post graphic details about self-harming behaviour, suicide method, abuse, eating disorders (this includes specific weights/measurements, weight-loss/dieting methods and medication details).
- Reveal any personal details of your own or others: stay anonymous (this includes email addresses and links to social media pages like Facebook, Youtube, tumblr etc)
- Post any inappropriate, obscene, offensive or provocative content - including sexually graphic description
- Swear at or about another person, whether they are on the forums or not. General swearing is ok, but not when it is directed at a person. EG "I'm so fucking sad" is ok but "I hate my fucking teacher" is not.
- Be malicious, personally attack, bag out/put down another person or ‘troll’.
- Create posts that may incite hatred or are discriminatory.
- Break the law in any way and don’t encourage others to break the law.
- Post with commercial interests in mind or to prosthelytize/promote any specific religion.
- Provide professional advice such as legal, medical, financial or other. This includes names of medications and names of specific health care providers.
- Cross post. Don’t post multiple, duplicate, identical or near-identical content.
- Post or behave in a way that interferes with the site.
- Evade site controls or disregard the directions of the Mods, ModSquad or ReachOut.com staff
IF THE GUIDELINES ARE KNOWINGLY BROKEN....
The information below describes a process for dealing with posts that break the guidelines and negatively impact on other members. Most communication about this is done privately and is confidential.
- If a post is one of the following you will be immediately banned...
- trolling; and/or
- spam; and/or
- otherwise malicious
Otherwise, the following applies ongoing (does not reset at any point, unless stated by staff):
- First stage: a gentle email and chat about the guidelines
- Second stage: an email and reminder about the guidelines
- Third stage: account paused - we’ll email you asking you to tell us how things can be different and what you can do to help stay in the guidelines. We’ll give you some ideas, and once you’ve told us how things will be different, your account will be unpaused ASAP.
- Fourth stage: 2 week break - if we’ve got to this point, we might be worried that the forums are not helpful for you. During this time:
- We will remind you of what other supports you can access
- We’ll encourage you to try and figure out alternative ways to communicate on the forums
- We’ll communicate with you once per week on email
- If you break the guidelines over email or make a new account to get around the ban, the break will start again for 2 weeks from the date of that incident
Online Community Manager
Re: Forum Guidelines
Re: Forum Guidelines
The ReachOut.com forums are an anonymous safe space, open 24/7, for young people to hang out and chat with other young people about life and everyday issues in a positive and helpful way.
ReachOut.com is intended for use by 14-25 year old Australians. Anyone is free to read content on ReachOut.com but you must be 14 and over to become a member.
To create an interesting, helpful and safe space some guidelines have been put together by members with the help of staff to help us all get the most out of our time here on the forums. When contributing make sure you treat others with respect. Keeping to these guidelines will mean that everyone can contribute without fear of abuse, harassment or encountering inappropriate content.
The spaces we provide for posting and commenting are for peer support and we do not provide one-on-one support. Remember: ReachOut.com is not counselling or a crisis service - if you or someone you know are at risk or you want to talk to someone now click here.
We do not provide individualised or one-on-one support.
We cannot guarantee that someone will see anything you post on ReachOut.com.
- Get involved! The more you get involved, the more you’ll get out of your forum experience. It might seem overwhelming at first, but it’s worth giving a go. A good way to start is to give a high five to anyone whose posts you find interesting or helpful.
- Try to get your opinion across clearly and concisely. It’s easy to misunderstand people online, so if you think someone’s being offensive, double-check what they meant.
- Write clear subject lines (thread/topics). When it’s obvious from the start what you’re talking about, people are much more likely to get involved in the conversation. Avoid generic headings like “read this!!”.
- Respect what others think and believe. If you feel passionately about a topic, that’s great, but it’s really important not to get personal. Make sure to respect other people’s opinions and personal experiences.
- Be yourself but stay anonymous. Don’t pretend to be anyone else or represent another person –whether that’s through screen name or content you post. Use this as an opportunity to share your own opinions and experiences. Just make sure to keep your log in details secure, and avoid posting your full name or any other identifying info. (see the next section which explains what not to post).
- Think carefully about what material you post online. This website is public - once anything is posted on the web it is seriously difficult to remove it. What you write online today could still be there in 5, 10 or even 50 years!
- Remain anonymous – That means don't mention your name, or the names of other people you know or talk to. Keeping the site anonymous helps people to be able to say what’s on their mind without fear of it getting back to anyone they know. Help keep our spaces safe and supportive by staying anonymous - do not seek out other users on social media.
- Give credit to others if you used their ideas or words. It’s only fair that you always respect copyright. If you’re concerned that someone has breached copyright please let us know via the contact us page.
- Report content. As members of the ReachOut.com community, please tell us if there’s content that may be causing a problem. Please also use the report button if you are worried about someone. You can help keep your community a safe space.
- At ReachOut.com we try to focus on solutions. Venting and negativity can bring people down and it’s generally not helpful to focus on things that haven’t worked or the things that you think you can’t do. Focus on what you can achieve and the things that help you or others. If you have a story or thought that might help someone, please share.
- Call 000 if you are in immediate risk of harming yourself or others. You can also click the yellow Emergency help link (top right of your screen) to access services that can help you. If you’re experiencing abuse it’s really important that you seek additional help. Check out this page: Getting Help If You've Been Abused.
- Always seek approval before posting campaigns, media requests, research & assignment surveys/interviews or similar requests. Details on how to contact ReachOut.com staff are available on this page.
- Never Post graphic details. Details about self-harming behaviour, drug use, abuse, eating disorders or other info may be harmful or triggering to others. Triggering language is descriptive language that causes someone to re-live a feeling associated with a trauma they lived through. Use general terms like “self-harm”, “eating disorder” and “assault” rather than giving us the details of exactly what happened. For more info on this, or if you have questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Never post any inappropriate, obscene, offensive or provocative content. This includes screen names, images, videos and links to sites containing such content as well as words that have been made up to fool swear-word filters!
- Never be malicious, personally attack, bag out another member, or ‘troll’. Never post abusive, harassing, insulting or threatening content. Don't ‘shout’ (the use of all capitals)!
- Never create posts that may incite hatred or are discriminatory on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality, sexuality or other personal characteristics.
- Never reveal any personal details of your own or others. Keep your address, school/home, phone number, email address, facebook and other social networking info and screen names private. Never compromise someone else’s privacy. Don’t post identifying images or your full name or the names of other people you know. You are responsible for keeping yourself anonymous on all areas of ReachOut.com.
- Never push or promote your faith to other people. It's okay to share your experience with your faith and we recognise that this is very important to a lot of people, it's not okay to push or promote your faith to other people when they are here to learn about mental health.
- Never break the law in any way and don’t encourage others to break the law. This includes discussing illegal actions, taking someone’s intellectual property, or breaking copyright laws by posting what isn’tt yours (including pictures & videos). It also includes links to hacking info or illegal downloads - no pirating please! Don’t post content that would harm the reputation of a business, organisation or person - this may be defamatory.
- Never post with commercial interests in mind. Commercial endorsements, promotions or spam of any kind are not acceptable. This includes chain letters, class action for petitions and charitable appeals for fundraising. If you are participating in a fundraising activity that you would like to promote, just get it approved by email@example.com
- Never provide professional advice such as legal, medical, financial or other. Although you may want to help another member you can’t be aware of their full set of circumstances, and what you say could have dangerous consequences. This includes discussions about changing or stopping medication, advice which is harmful and illegal.
- Never cross post. Don’t post multiple, duplicate, identical or near-identical 'campaign-type' content. Posts of this nature, whether posted by one member or multiple, will be removed.
- Never behave in a way that interferes with the site or another member’s ability to use the site. Never post content designed to harm another’s computer, such as a virus.
- Never evade site controls such as bans or otherwise disregard the directions of the Mods, ModSquad or ReachOut.com staff.
ReachOut.com reserves the right to delete any posts that breach these guidelines. Repeated infringements may result in you being blocked (timed out) or banned from the site.
We ask that you help keep ReachOut.com safe by reporting any content that breaches our guidelines or terms & conditions. You can do this simply by clicking “report post”.
The following groups of people participate and monitor the ReachOut.com forums to ensure they’re a productive and space safe. If you have any concerns please contact us!
Mods.& ModSquad These guys are the moderators of ReachOut.com. They’re all here to help you have the best possible experience on ReachOut.com and make sure things run smoothly. Click here to find out more about them…
Youth Ambassadors These are the young people who volunteer to represent ReachOut.com and play a critical role in making sure ReachOut.com has a positive impact on young people.
Community Managers The lucky people whose job it is to work full time here in the forum! To find out more about them, visit Sophie or Ben's profile page
InfoBus facilitators Special guest mental health professionals, there is a session on every month. They happen in here…
ReachOut.com staff From time to time, staff who work on content, social media or fundraising will come and say hello to us here in the forums.
If you have a complaint about content you’ve found on the site please get in touch with us via our contact page. Please be sure to include sufficient information and a link so we are able to effectively address your complaint.
These guidelines get updated so be sure to check back. Likewise if you have any suggestions or questions, we are all ears!
Online Community Manager