House Rules

Friends in Need is an online and offline community for over 18’s only.

This community is for you to talk openly about depression and wellbeing and create online and offline groups with people who share your interests and hobbies. Please use the site responsibly and familiarise yourself with the guidelines on keeping yourself and others safe – these can be found below.

BE NICE

Be welcoming, friendly and respectful to other users at all times. It’s fine to debate or disagree but we do not tolerate aggressive, insulting or abusive behaviour towards other members of the community. Have a look at our FAQ section for tips on dealing with people on the site that you do not get along with. Please do not reciprocate, even if defending a friend, the same guidelines will still apply.  Report posts & allow the Moderator to deal with these issues.  We also do not tolerate any discriminatory content towards others based on gender, race, sexuality, nationality, religion or age.

BE CONSIDERATE

Friends in Need is NOT a crisis service.  If you are feeling suicidal or that you may harm yourself, use the information on the urgent help button to contact appropriate organisations and services.  As this is a community for those affected by depression, it is fine to talk about suicidal feelings or the urge to self-harm but please do not go into descriptive detail, make threats or share plans.  This is unfair and potentially triggering to other vulnerable members of the community.

PEER SUPPORT NOT MEDICAL SUPPORT

Members of the community will often tell each other about their experiences with medication, treatment or services.  This is great! However, please do not offer advice as if you were a medical professional (even if you are). Respect the treatment choices of others and do not present your opinion or experience as fact.

BE SAFE

  • Meet up in groups in public spaces.  
  • Do not disclose bank account details or your address.  
  • We recommend keeping conversations on the Friends in Need site, however, if you do want to share contact details to communicate away from the site, set up a private group so that you are in control of who has these details.

ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION

Friends in Need is not an advertising service, so please do not use it to promote products or services that benefit you, your family or friends financially.  If you do have a product or service that you think the community will be interested in please contact Mind supporterservices@mind.org.uk 

YOUR IDENTITY

You can use Friends in Need anonymously, however, please do not imitate another person, give false impressions or misrepresent your identity.

KEEP IT CLEAN

Posts can contain links, but please don’t link to websites that promote illegal activities, has sexual content or that may cause distress or offense to other members of the community.

No explicit, sexual innuendo, or insulting content. We may moderate a topic or post based on the intent of the sexual material it contains. Posts with medical or clinical themes related to sex, sexual health or relationships are allowed, at our discretion.

We do have a swear filter on the site but try and keep language appropriate for all who might see it.  

MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS

It is easy to feel rejected or hurt if another member doesn’t reply to you straight away or even at all.  There may be many reasons for this and you shouldn’t assume it is personal. Please remember, everyone on Friends in Need is there because they have been affected by depression in some way.   

The reason we may not have a self-help group or meet up in your area is because we are a network supported by YOU the volunteer and community. Meet ups and self-help groups get set up as you come to the community and offer your support, time or effort.  With this in mind, it is also important to remember that the person managing a group or meet up is another regular member of the community, so if you can’t make an event you’ve signed up for, it’s nice to let the organiser know. Nobody wants to be sat on their own waiting for people who never arrive. Say thanks after a meet up and offer to organise the next one – Friends in Need is all about peer support and community.  

Have a look at the FAQs for details on how to create your own meet up or self-help group.

GIVE BACK

Friends in Need is about peer support i.e. helping each other. Please do not take support without offering some back when you are able. Welcome new users, start a meet up, answer a question on FiN or say hi to someone still waiting for a response – easy ways of giving something back to the community. 

If you wanted to get more involved with Mind or Friends in Need through fundraising or volunteering, contact us at supporterservices@mind.org.uk 

PROFILE PICTURES

You cannot post pictures on Friends in Need however, you can upload your own image as your avatar.  Please do not use pictures that:

  • May be offensive or triggering to others.
  • Images of children
  • Images of other people.

LEGAL STUFF

Contributions must not:

  • Contain any material which is defamatory of any person.
  • Contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory.
  • Promote sexually explicit material.
  • Promote violence.
  • Promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • Infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person.
  • Be likely to deceive any person.
  • Promote any illegal activity.
  • Advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
  • Promote commercial activities (including competitions and advertising).

BREACH OF GUIDELINES

The site is moderated by Mind staff and an out of hours moderation company.  Where rules are broken, warnings will be issued, 3 warnings will normally result in a permanent ban. Warnings, temporary and permanent bans will be at the discretion of moderators and Friends in Need staff team.  

The site will be moderated Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm and at various intervals outside of office hours and throughout the weekend. If you do come across something on the site that you do feel breaks these site guidelines, you can flag this as inappropriate to alert moderators.  This will not be visible to other users.  

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.

You can read our full terms and conditions here

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