Community Guidelines

Community Expectations for Posting and Responding on the Support Wall

  • Anonymity and Privacy

    • Don’t post your name, age, location, phone number or any personally identifying information.
    • Don’t ask for a user’s age, location, phone number, or any personally identifying information.
    • Don’t expose anyone else’s private information.
    • Don’t impersonate people.
    • Don’t give out information on how someone could contact you directly; direct messages are not allowed on the forum.
  • Respect

    • Respect each other. Don’t harass or grieve anyone, abuse others, or use hate speech.
    • Keep it clean. Don’t post anything obscene, violent, offensive, or sexually explicit.
    • Respect our forum. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalize the forum.
    • Have grace for others. Most of people who offer support are volunteers. People seeking support are in a place of vulnerability.
    • Please do not use the forum for dating or seeking relationships.
    • Respect others consent at all times. Avoid using pet names or sharing religious views without a user’s consent, even if it’s important for you or things you are used to say to your direct entourage.
  • Encourage

    • Listen. Before you share your own experience or advice, dedicate the core of your reply to demonstrating empathy, understanding, and compassion for the user.

    • Relate. If you’ve experienced something similar, you can use parts of your story to help others feel understood and like they are not alone. Remember that the main point of sharing is about the other person and not yourself.
    • Hope. Highlight the strengths of others. Reflect to them the ways they’ve demonstrated resilience, courage, vulnerability. Recall the progress a user has made. Remind them they have what it takes for change to happen.
    • Patience. Growth takes time. Don’t express impatience with someone’s process.
    • Humility. Most users need encouragement, not advice. If relevant and welcomed, advice should be offered from a place of humility. For instance, “This is something that you could consider”, or “This is something that worked for me”.
  • Unconditional Acceptance

    • Don’t discriminate. Welcome all, regardless of age, disability, gender identity, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
    • Be sensitive. Approach topics of religion, politics, relationships, financial status, and gender with sensitivity and an understanding of subjectivity.
    • This is a no shame, no stigma environment, and we will never engage in public shame or stigmatizing of others. All struggle. All are welcome. No one is alone.
  • Choose Living

    • Encourage others to choose living.
    • Any advice suggesting users should harm themselves will result in immediate and permanent ban.
  • Posting

    • Do not create a topic with the intention of being an expert, advising others or telling them how to live. All topics are intended to vulnerably share your own experience and invite others to celebrate, encourage, and support you.
    • Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
  • AI (chatGPT, etc)

    • Do not use chatGPT when replying to others. Our forum is a place where authentic and supportive conversations are meant to happen. Even though AI can be useful in many other applications, it is important that replies on the forum come from your very own heart and mind. It’s okay if the result is not perfect. It’s okay to embrace the discomfort it may create in you at first. What matters is that you take the initiative of showing up for others and showing that you care. Everything else can then be improved with practice!
  • Legal

    • Heartsupport volunteers must respect the organization’s sexual abuse policy. If you believe that you are being, or have been, harassed in any way, please report the allegations of the incident or incidents to the Executive Director ([email protected]) within a reasonable time, without fear of reprisal.
    • Respect the role of professionals.
      • This forum is for peer-to-peer support. We do not replace the need for professional services.
      • Don’t diagnose. Respect people’s interpretations of their symptoms; validate and support their processing. Defer and refer to professionals.
      • Don’t disagree with the professional advice a user has received.
      • Please limit use of clinical or medical terms and speak in general language to help reduce stigma. Ex: “you sound sad” vs “ you sound depressed”.
      • Do not post medical advice. This includes advice about medications, supplements and anything that should be under the direction of a healthcare professional.
    • This is not a space to report any civil/criminal/federal offense.
      • If you believe that someone else has committed a crime, we encourage you to report that to your local authorities immediately.
      • If you have committed a crime, we encourage you to seek professional help immediately. You can utilize Better Help or our Crisis Resources.
      • You can, however, share your experience and how it has affected you or your mental health. When posting about potentially criminal actions, please refrain from using specific details and post exclusively about your personal experience. If posting about a crime please share if this has already been reported when possible.
    • We are not a crisis response service.
      • If you’re in immediate danger to yourself or others, dial 911 or utilize our Crisis Resources immediately.
  • Any violation of these guidelines is subject to post removal, warning or immediate ban.

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