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Polite request from MNHQ

(47 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Oct-14 16:08:08

Hello all

We've started this thread in Site Stuff about how we should deal with posts by posters who are feeling suicidal, and we'd be really grateful if we could have your input on there (or on here if you'd rather).

[EXTRA BIT ADDED BY MNHQ:] if you don't want to read the mahoosive Site Stuff thread or are feeling a bit vulnerable, the basic question is: how should MNHQ handle posts or threads by posters who are expressing suicidal thoughts - whether that be 'I feel so low, please talk to me', or posts that actually clearly express an intent to commit suicide. Should we leave them run and allow MNers to offer each other support, even in extremis? Or should we close them and DM the poster to direct them towards external sources of help such as the Samaritans?

Thanks
MNHQ flowers

SnowyMouse Thu 23-Oct-14 17:48:45

Thanks Rowan

My feeling is that 'methods' posts should not be allowed to stand, as is common elsewhere on the net and backed up by research. Otherwise I think that they can be a valuable way of reaching out or talking with people who have had similar experiences.

I don't think this is any different from some of the relationships posts in that regard.

I also think that some of the posts on the official thread infantilise posters with MH problems, for example the theory that if the site were to go down that they would be especially distraught.

I also think that the troll-hunting culture of MN (on the main boards, less so on the specialist ones) is for 'regular posters' to check out the person's previous history. This puts me off posting on Chat and AIBU for anything except the factual, because either I namechange and have no history (and that's commented on), or people seem to change their behaviour/mention that I'm a MH regular poster.

I am concerned that posters who I have got to know well are leaving over this.

TheOrchardKeeper Thu 23-Oct-14 18:01:55

Completely echo what Snowy said.

I posted when very depressed and actively suicidal (no plan but I would have eventually without the right info/direction to head in, and my rl support was non existant at the time). It's no one's responsibility to help others in that situation but the fact is it has helped so many people in similar situations. Rl MH support/services and stretched and a shambles in many places and most of us know they exist but are posting either to speak to people who've been there and may have more realistic advice or just to vent/for 'hand holding'.

Direct suicide 'threats' are different of course. I think they should be locked if they detail methods because they can be very very triggering to others who are feeling suicidal, as proved in many studies.

Victrix Thu 23-Oct-14 18:03:30

The official thread is an unpleasant thing to read.

I agree completely with Snowy

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Thu 23-Oct-14 18:04:23

I've been on those threads to make my point, but am utterly frustrated by some folk who have little to no first hand experience of having a mental illness telling people who do what they should and shouldn't post and should and shouldn't see. Some posts on those threads are just downright unpleasant.

As snowy has said, methods posts shouldn't stand, but in that way the MH board regulars already self moderate, challenge and report those kind of posts anyway.

Mumsnet has helped see me through some really, really shit times. The thought that someone may make a judgement call and delete a thread I've started and send me a crappy email with the Sams contact details on, when I already have the crisis number taped to my fridge is pointless.

I don't need protecting from what others post as I can hide or ignore threads like anyone else can. Like someone who has suffered a bereavement, a relationship break up or a serious physical health problem, it helps to have a space to talk. Mental health shouldn't be treated any differently.

The only frickin distress I experience when the site goes down is the fact that I will be forced into doing something really shite like housework, or talking to DH.

nethunsreject Thu 23-Oct-14 18:11:06

Thanks rowan, well said snowy.

I'm really upset by the tone of many posters on the other threads. Feeling the stigma is alive and well, fed up with samaritans or a and e offered as the solution. They aren't!
I don't think things ought to change, beyond snow's suggestion re methods, for evidence based reasons. There is a report button if trolling is suspected.
Is it worth making the MANY posters with mh feel any more alienated by introducing no go areas because others might be upset? Well, if so then you need to ban discussions about abuse, domestic abuse, life threatening illness, etc etc!

nethunsreject Thu 23-Oct-14 18:11:53

Oh gosh, lots of cross posts, well said all!

TheOrchardKeeper Thu 23-Oct-14 18:14:31

Not many people have mentioned that Samaritans can only talk about things. Most people with MH problems know they exist! But are seeking sother support/advice because they just aren't always enough in a crisis and they aren't allowed to give an opinion on anything you've brought up at all whilst they talk to you. They're not a magic solution or anything. It can be very helpful for just venting but plenty of people feel uncomfortable physically talking to a stranger compared to doing it on a screen too etc. Especially if you have anixety/social anxiety issues.

Pulledapart Thu 23-Oct-14 18:43:43

I agree with what snowy and others have said.

Like others I have been really upset by some of the comments made by people who have no idea about mental health.

Until today this felt like a safe space to talk but I'm not so sure now.

NanaNina Thu 23-Oct-14 18:51:38

Another endorsement here for Snowy's post though I don't quite understand about "troll hunting" and for regular posters to check out the person's previous history. I wouldn't know how to do this anyway.

I haven't read all the posts but Keema clearly has and if I'd seen the posts to which she refers, I'd most certainly share her frustration and more. A phrase comes to mine if you have never been lost in this particular section of hell please don't give me directions - I also agree with the other points made in Keema's post. I also agree with the points made by Orchard keeper especially the one about posters feeling more able to tap out their fears on a laptop or tablet, rather than pick the phone up to speak to a Sams volunteer. Also agree with nethunsreject posts.

SO why not NO to "methods" posting and let the rest stand - or is that too simplistic?

Like others have said the MH threads have got me through many a dark hour and I'd be lost without them. It's so good to know that we're often talking to people who have first hand experience of what we are going through, and that makes SO much difference. Even if we have RL support, often our family and friends don't really understand (well that's true in my case especially in relation to family)

I'm also worried about posters I've got know leaving the MH threads and I really think the "consultation" process should be brought to a close sooner rather than later and MNHQ make a decision as I think it is all getting unnecessarily protracted.

NanaNina Thu 23-Oct-14 19:01:54

There are now at least 3 threads on this issue which is very confusing.

Rowan are you and your colleagues in a position to pull out from the huge number of posts, what the majority of posters are thinking/feeling. I can and I haven't read them all. Don't you think it's time you made a decision and put an end to this matter.

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Thu 23-Oct-14 19:09:16

That's another point. The people at Sams and MH professionals have a line they have to follow. They can't offer sympathy, say they empathise and may well not have experience of having severe depression themselves. They can't say "I've been where you are, and you can come out of this on the other side".

I agree with Nana that the consultation needs to be wound up soon. There's some loud voices on that thread with very fixed ideas of what they think is right. Nothing from folks going "but hang on, I've been there" is going to make a difference. From my POV, I'd like to get back to supporting folks on here without the insinuations that I'm too vulnerable to handle it.

TheOrchardKeeper Thu 23-Oct-14 19:12:05

Amen keema brew

Made for a pretty foul read towards the end but couldn't help myself hmm grin

Pyrrhagena Thu 23-Oct-14 20:43:50

Echo what the others have said. That thread makes very unpleasant reading, it would be nice if you could edit your op and warn people, maybe summarise what you want thoughts on exactly to save other people having to read what a lot of other posters think of us.

I would like to ask why the singling out of MH threads? Surely posts of 'was this rape?' followed by a graphic description are equally distressing for people to read. Or DV, or I'm sitting waiting for Great Uncle Fred to die, or someone with pnd, or where someone admits to being upset their child is a DS etc etc. where do you draw the line? No one seems to be bothered about the people who are upset by reading these threads.

It is much easier, certainly for me, to discuss things over the anonymity of the forum, with people who have experience of the same things. It makes it then easier to speak to someone in real life. A lot of people on the other threads seem to assume that everyone has a support network around them, be it family or friends or Gp or crisis team. That simply isn't true. It's all very well to say "shut them up, direct them to the Samaritans." I think most people who are feeling the need to SH are aware of them anyway and probably not had a great experience with them. It can not only be very erratic, dependent on who you speak to, but they don't offer any advice (in my experience) beyond go to your gp.

I find this board a valuable resource, and I think it would be a great shame to forbid users of the site from support when they most need it. When someone is feeling low, they are not going to want to search for a new site to join, they want to come somewhere they know and, dare I say it, trust. We are not stupid. We know that no one here is really qualified to give proper medical advice (will you be re-thinking general health too?) and people may not be who they seem. But it is very comforting to know that other people know what we are going through.

nethunsreject Fri 24-Oct-14 08:51:19

Well said pyrr.
I do wonder at the naivety displayed on some of the other threads wrt sourcing support. I am also disappointed by the singling out of a mh issue issue as a potentially restricted area.

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Fri 24-Oct-14 09:03:27

Yes, the singling out of a MH issue does rankle. There are lots of posts that can be upsetting or triggering.

It's like recommending that if someone posts an account of being raped that HQ should delete it and put a link to the Rape crisis number up as it could trigger flashbacks and harm other victims.

I made the mistake of going back on the other thread. I had to walk away again. Some of the grandiose, angry, self righteous posting was akin to a manic episode, and I wasn't sure if offering folks a lorazepam was a personal attack or not grin

Modestine Fri 24-Oct-14 09:21:20

You can offer me a lorazepam any time you like, Keema. grin Some very good posts here. I'd like to add this: MN is, in my opinion, unique in helping people to find others with very similar experiences, no matter how apparently extraordinary. This is true because of its enormous reach and huge membership. So if, for example, you were to post saying: "I was regularly abused by my male cousin and made an outcast by my family for speaking out about it" - it's very likely another MNer would come onto your thread to say "more or less the same thing happened to me, and here's how I've dealt with it". And another would say: "Here are the legal implications and here is a link to a support group". That sharing of experience is beyond price. If anyone knows of another website where that can happen so easily and so quickly, I'd like to know about it.

nethunsreject Fri 24-Oct-14 09:58:02

Exactly, modest, it is unique, I agree. There is a wide range of experience, greater than I've found elsewhere, plus there I feel that many posts over the board as a whole seem intelligent, which is unusual online ;-)!
<hands round some seroquel to go with the lo - wotsitcalled >;-)

nethunsreject Fri 24-Oct-14 09:59:38

Sorry, extra 'there' appeared, thus making me look not intelligent ;-) :-D

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 24-Oct-14 10:41:11

Morning all

Thanks very much for your thoughts on here. We will go back and edit this OP to try to give a flavour of what we're asking about.

Re singling out MH: it's happened this way because this particular issue has caused a massive storm on several fronts over the past few days and it really didn't look as though it was going to go away unless we tackled it head-on. We do see why you'd draw comparisons with experience of rape or bereavement but the truth of it is that so far, threads on those topics haven't caused such widespread disquiet. (That's not to say they won't at some point in the future of course.)

That's a really lovely post about Mumsnet modestine, thank you.

And flowers to those of you who're feeling bruised by the other thread.

We're closing the Site Stuff thread over the weekend but our feeling was we would leave this one running - does that sound about right to you or would you rather we closed this one too?

TheOrchardKeeper Fri 24-Oct-14 10:45:57

Sounds about right smile

Agree with modestine and hope that doesn't change too drastically.

nethunsreject Fri 24-Oct-14 11:18:22

Sounds fine idea rowan.

Yeah I'm feeling pretty bruised. Mh still carries massive stigma apparently, that's what hurts :-(. More than discussions of abuse, rape and domestic violence!!

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Fri 24-Oct-14 13:13:17

It's brushing and infuriating all at the same time.

TheOrchardKeeper Fri 24-Oct-14 13:23:35

Don't 100% buy what MNHQ are saying about singling out mental health though. I understand live suicide note-threads but plenty of people discuss suicidal feelings on here and that is not more/less distressing than rape threads/miscarriage threads etc. I've been suicidal and raped and can safely say I find both as equally uncomfortable but am able to use common sense to avoid them fi I don't feel I can read them. I don't see why MN users need babying quite that much. Lock the very distressing threads but don't censor the rest of us if you're going to leave rape threads (that have specific details of the rape on) or still birth threads up. Otherwise it really does look like you've singled out mental health threads.

And those other threads really showed up how many people still hold stupid beliefs about MH and what's best etc. No more stigma my arse...

NanaNina Fri 24-Oct-14 13:23:44

Yes sounds about right but I honestly think this should be the final day - it seems to me that the longer this consultation period continues, the more potential for making people with MH issues feel stigmatised, frustrated and angry. There is a certain irony in this I know but the stigma in MH is alive and well and dare I say flourishing "out there" and that's one of the things that makes mental illness so much harder to bear.

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