FAQs

About Friends in Need

  • Is Friends in Need anonymous?

Your information will not be made public on Friends in Need or anywhere else although, we will ask for your personal details during the registration process. Your email address and name will only be visible to the Friends in Need team and moderators but we will only use this information to contact you.  When using the Friends in Need site, you will be known by your username. Choose your username carefully, as you will not be able to change it. The first half of your postcode will also be visible so that you can connect with people local to you.

  • Is Friends in Need free?

Yes! Friends in Need is totally free because we are funded by kind donations. Friends in Need is a community created by Depression Alliance and now led by Mind, if you would like to contribute to our work please consider making a donation.

  • Can I join Friends in Need if I do not have depression myself?

Yes. Friends in Need is for anyone whose lives have been affected by depression. This may mean that you have depression yourself or know someone who does, such as a family member, friend or work colleague.

Registering for Friends in Need

  • How do I register?

Before you start connecting with others on Friends in Need you will need to register and create an account. This will allow you to browse the conversations and meet ups and start your own.

To get started, simply visit our registration page and fill out the form. You will then be emailed an activation link. You can either click on the link or copy and paste it into your browser to activate your account.

Once your account is active you can sign in and join our community!

NB: you will need to be over 18 and have a valid email address to join Friends in Need.

  • Can I change my username?

No. The username you choose during the registration process cannot be changed once you have submitted your registration form. Please choose your username carefully and think about how identifiable you want to be to other users.

  • I have not received my activation email.

If you do not receive your activation email, please first check your spam/junk folder. If it has still not arrived please email us at friendsinneed@mind.org.uk 

  • I can’t click on the activation link

If you are unable to click on the link in your email, you can copy and paste the link into your internet browser. If you are still having trouble please email us at friendsinneed@mind.org.uk 

Using Friends in Need

A good place to start once you have registered for Friends in Need is the tours on your homepage - 'My Home'.

  • What is ‘My Home’?

‘My Home’ allows you to see and manage all your Friends in Need community activities in one place. You can check your notifications here and see the latest activity in groups, meet ups and conversations you’ve started or have joined in with.

The map will show you what is going on near you and the recommended box will highlight groups or meet ups we think may be of interest to you. You can also check for updates, tips and news from the FiN Team in the noticeboards towards the bottom of the page.

  • Where can I talk to other members of Friends in Need?

You can have conversations with other members of Friends in Need by joining or creating a group. Groups can be based on mutual interests or hobbies or they can be location based if you would like to chat with people local to you.  It is a good idea to include your location and interests in your profile biog as you can look for users from the profile page by entering a location or keyword into the search box.

  • How do I edit or delete my posts?

At the bottom of your post you will see an ‘edit’ button. Click on this to make amends to your post. We advise that you don’t change the post completely as this can confuse the conversation.

You are unable to delete posts on Friends in Need. However, if there is a post that you are particularly concerned about, then please email us at friendsinneed@mind.org.uk 

  • Can I leave a private message for other users?

For moderation and safety reasons you cannot send private messages to other users of Friends in Need. You can leave a public message for other users by using their username with an @ symbol at the beginning e.g. @FiNTeam, the user will then receive a notification. If you’d like to exchange email addresses or phone numbers, you might want to create a private group inviting only the relevant person/people. If you no longer need your private group, once you have exchanged details, simply go to the settings tab when you click on 'Edit my group' and check the disable group box.

  • How do the notifications work?

At the top of the page you will see a small bell shaped icon, here you’ll find your notifications. For example an invite to join a group.

You will also get notifications by email. To amend these settings or turn them off click on the bell icon and go to ‘settings’.

Even if you leave a group you could still receive notifications, as you might also be 'following' that group. You can stop following a group by going to the group page and clicking on the 'I'm following this' button.

  • Can I post pictures on Friends in Need?

At the moment, members are not permitted to include pictures as part of their conversations on the site.

  • Can I post links on Friends in Need?

Yes. It is possible to include links as part of your conversations on Friends in Need. Please see our house rules for information about what types of links are permitted.

What are groups?

Groups on Friends in Need can be for talking online and for getting to know people before going to a meet up.  Groups can be private or public.  Private groups can only be accessed by members that have been approved by the group creator.  Conversations in private groups are still moderated.

  • What is a self help group?

Self help groups are open to anyone affected by depression and they provide a safe and welcoming space for sharing friendship, support and ideas in living with depression. Self help groups are usually facilitated by volunteers who live with depression themselves.

  • How do I delete or edit a group?

Click on your group to open it up. At the top of the page you will see an ‘Edit my group’ button. Clicking on the edit button will take you back to the form with your group details on. Change details as necessary and then click the ‘Update group’ button to save the changes.

  • Can I delete a group I start?

You will be able to remove your group from the site by clicking on the ‘Edit my group’ button.  Under the settings section simply tick the ‘disable’ tick box to and then save your changes by clicking on the ‘Update group’ button.

  • How do I invite people to my group?

On your group page you will see an ‘Invite new members’ box.  Here you can enter in the username of members you would like to invite to your group or send an invitation to people within your region.  If the invite button is not giving you the option to invite people in your region or just shows United Kingdom, then you may need to check that the location is one that is recognised.  See 'Why is my group not showing on the map view' below for more information.

In special circumstances it may be necessary to only invite either women or men. If this is the case please email us at friendsinneed@mind.org.uk for further help.

  • Why is my group not showing on the map view ?

Whilst typing the location for your meet up you will notice that that location box will drop down and give you options to choose from.  Selecting one of the options will ensure that it is a location the map identifies.  

  • I created a group but it has disappeared.

If your group has been inactive for longer than 6 months, the group will become disabled.  If this happens and you would like to reinstate your group, please email friendsinneed@mind.org.uk

  • What is a meet up?

A meet up can be as simple as getting together for a coffee or a drink, visiting a gallery, starting a book group or creative/craft group, going for a walk or bike ride or something more extravagant like a trip to the theatre or the beach. The possibilities are endless!

  • How do I delete or edit a meet up?

Click on your meet up to open it up. At the top of the page you will see an ‘Edit my meet up’ button. Clicking on the edit button will take you back to the form with your meet up details on. Change details as necessary and then click the ‘Update meet up’ button to save the changes.

To cancel or delete a meet up click on 'Edit my meet up' and go to the settings tab, you will have two options - canceling the meet up or disabling the meet up which will remove it from the site.

  • How do I invite people to my meet up?

On your meet up page you will see an ‘Invite others’ box. Here you can enter in the username of members you would like to invite to your meet up or send an invitation to people within your region.   If the invite button is not giving you the option to invite people in your region or just shows United Kingdom, then you may need to check that the location is one that is recognised.  See 'Why is my meet up not showing on the map view' below for more information.

In special circumstances it may be necessary to only invite either women or men. If this is the case please email us at friendsinneed@mind.org.uk for further help.

  • Why is my meet up not showing on the map view?

Whilst typing the location for your meet up you will notice that that location box will drop down and give you options to choose from.  Selecting one of the options will ensure that it is a location the map identifies.  

What is my profile and how can I change it?

You will find the ‘my profile’ link at the very top of the page.

Your profile contains the account information you gave us when you joined Friends in Need. It is also the place where you can edit this information at any time, including your sign in details (not username) and add a bit about yourself.

NB: Your profile picture must not be any image which breaches our terms & conditions or house rules.You must not use any images that could cause offence to other members of the site.

  • Can I change my username?

No. The username you choose during the registration process cannot be changed once you have submitted your registration form. Please choose your username carefully and think about how identifiable you want to be to other users.

  • How do I cancel my account?

It is possible to either 'disable' or 'delete your Friends in Need account.

You may disable your account temporarily. This option gives you the flexibility to leave and come back whenever you want. People won’t be able to see your profile and your username will be removed from the site, however your posts and profile picture will remain. We save the information in your account, just in case you want to return at some point. If you choose to reactivate your account, just email friendsinneed@mind.org.uk 

If you permanently delete your account, you will not be able to regain access to your account.  Copies of some material may remain in our database for technical reasons.  If you do wish to permanently remove your account from Friends in Need please email friendsinneed@mind.org.uk and we can do it for you. Please note it may take up to 72 hours to be deleted.

Safety & security

  • How is Friends in Need moderated?

Friends in Need is moderated at various intervals throughout the day and evening. Please flag up anything you deem inappropriate and we will deal with it as soon as possible.

Moderation action may include:

  • Editing of content.
  • Removal of content
  • Banning users
  • Any other appropriate action

The moderating team aim to communicate with members following any action, however, this may not always be possible, or there may be a time delay in doing so.

The site will be moderated Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm and at various intervals outside of office hours and throughout the weekend.

The moderators make the final decision on whether content is removed from the site or not.

Please note, the role of the moderating team is to enable the site to be a space for users to provide mutual support. This role does not include providing emotional or practical support directly to members, including those who may be suicidal or in crisis.

  • What if I clash with another user?

You are expected to take personal responsibility for your contributions at all times, including times when difficult or challenging situations or interactions may arise.

Here are some useful tips for dealing with any contributions or situations you might find challenging.

  • Disengage from the situation.
  • Address and resolve the situation directly with relevant member/s, while remaining respectful of differences.
  • Do NOT react to what you may perceive as provocation.
  • Do NOT engage in interactions intended to ‘protect’ or ‘support’ other member/s i.e. do not take ‘sides’.
  • Do NOT talk about the situation/person in an indirect way.
  • Do NOT speculate or make assumptions/judgement/statements about others.
  • Take responsibility for your feelings e.g. “I felt  - upset/angry/hurt/frightened” etc.
  • Take time out from the site.

What should I do if I see content that I feel is inappropriate or violates the house fules?

At the bottom of posts you will see the option to ‘flag this as inappropriate’. Clicking this will notify the moderators of the site and they will act as they see necessary. No other members on the site will see that you have flagged something.

  • How do I stay safe?

Keep your sign in details secret from everyone, including those who are and who are not members of Friends in Need.

Never give out your personal address, home telephone number, date of birth or bank details to other members.

Only ever meet up as a group, in a public place. If at any point your feel unsafe in your group, leave immediately and you can report any concerns to friendsinneed@mind.org.uk 

  • Can I get accurate medical information from Friends in Need?

The content on Friends in Need, whether provided by us (FiN Team & Mind) or by other site users (including any medical information) is provided for general information only or as a shared, personal experience. It should not be taken as advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from taking, any action on the basis of the content on our site. For medical matters, the information on our site is not medical diagnosis or treatment and is not a substitute for consultation with a qualified medical practitioner.

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