Idea for members

Started by Serephino, June 19, 2012, 03:55:37 PM

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This is a suggestion I was thinking about this morning.  I know there are a lot of members here on E that suffer from depression/anxiety (myself included).  And I know what helps me is to be able to talk to someone who I know will just listen and not judge.  But the people I feel comfortable talking to aren't always on.  To add to that, it took literally years before I was comfortable really being social.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  I know there's the feeling negative thread and stuff, but I'm sure people don't always feel comfortable posting their troubles in such a public place.  Sometimes I feel like I sound whiny because I'll be depressed for days on end, and have lots on my chest.

So my thought was, kinda like there's a Mentor staff to help new people, to have like a list of people that sign up to be kinda amateur counselors.  You know, someone that's willing to just listen for anyone who needs it.  Wouldn't need to change tags or anything, just like have a list posted somewhere, and general availability times.  That way people who are too intimidated to say anything in the public forums can see a list of people they can pm who will try to help them.  And even though they wouldn't be real licensed counselors, they'd still stick to the confidential thing, except of course if there was anything majorly wrong that the person thinks staff should be aware of.  Like for instance, say someone contacts me about another member being abusive or something, but they just want to talk and don't want to report, or are too timid/afraid to.  I would inform staff if I thought it was a major problem (obviously sometimes it's just 2 people not getting along, or there's a misunderstanding)     


Well speaking as the person my friends always seem to go to when they want to talk about their issues or just to vent I think it's a great idea and something I would volunteer to be a part of if it happens, having witnessed first hand what relief having someone to vent at can do to help someone feel better, even if it is only in the slightest way.


I can see where you're coming from with this, but I'm not sure a program like this would line up with the longstanding fact that Elliquiy is not really the place to seek such a thing.  :-\


Don't most people want a friend, someone they've developed a relationship with, for this sort of thing?  If it's a stranger, are there are better-qualified ones than random E members who you may or may not know?  And for the volunteers, would staff be asked to determine who is qualified and who isn't?  What would the qualifications be?  How do you know it isn't someone who's an ass and going to create more of a problem?  If it's someone not very active otherwise, how do we know it isn't someone who's a troll?  Normally, troublemakers can be ferreted out, but by then any damage is done, right?  And in this situation, we're talking about members who may be especially vulnerable, so there's potential for a lot of damage.  Further, what if someone harms themselves after talking to a support person - is there then any liability for the owner of this site, who would be endorsing this?

I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be discouraging (okay, maybe I am).  It's important to a lot of us to find ways to be a part of E's community, and I've not seen a stronger one anywhere else on the net.  I do see a LOT of issues with this plan that would need to be considered, and a lot of dynamic that would need to be worked out if such a list was made available.


Although you make some good point Elina, and I agree there are things that would need to be sorted out. Looking at some of the threads and blogs around here people are already sharing some of their issues where every member can see. Not to mention it's kind of a way of making a new friend.

Star Safyre

I would have to agree that finding capable members and giving members the responsibility of the mental welfare of other members is a large responsibility for a website whose stated purpose is role-playing.  Those who are working in counseling professionally, who would be the most qualified, may not likely be interested in doing so during their leisure time.  (If you make coffee all day, you're not likely to go home and brew yourself a cup, even if you do enjoy coffee.)

Perhaps there could be a post sticked (maybe in "Bad & Ugly" or "Help!") where members can post links and toll-free numbers to helplines and live help chats that have helpful to them in moments of struggle.
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Part of my whole reasoning is that some people don't really have friends.  I was on E for three years before I made any.  I don't have many real life friends, and most of the time when I'm in real trouble they're sleeping.  There are people here who have said they don't have any real life friends, or not ones they can really count on.  I just... know what it's like to feel you have no one to turn to.

Actual counselors cost money.  If you're not insured, or like me, have crappy insurance that would require a copay you can't afford, that's out of the question.  I've tried suicide hotlines.  Absolutely no fricken help what so ever.  I was just advised to go to my local ER, where I was looked at funny and treated like I was wasting everyone's time.  Their resident psychiatrist is the same one at the public low cost place, who damn near killed me twice being careless and stupid.  After talking to others around here, the retard kills more people than he helps, and avoids losing his license by only communicating through his nurses, and blames them.  The fucker told me to keep taking a medication that was making me suicidal.

Obviously there would need to be some sort of disclaimer.  And I know, not everyone has good intentions.  I didn't mean that said people would be a person's sole mental help.  I was just thinking about the nights I've felt lost, confused, depressed, and wished to god there was someone, anyone, I could talk to.  I look at the clock and know everyone who does give a damn is sleeping.  So I get to sit alone with the voices in my head that tell me I'm just a worthless piece of shit that no one really cares about.  I don't bother with suicide hotlines anymore because it's always the same thing.  The ER doesn't want me there.  They treat me like the piece of shit I feel like, flat out asking me why I'm there because there's nothing they can do for me. 

But... okay... I'm an idiot. 


It's not that you're an idiot, Serephino. It's just that Elliquiy is really not equipped to be what you're proposing.


Well although I decided to take a different career path, I did study psychology so I can understand where Serephino is coming from, you'd be surprised at how much just having someone be there while you talk at them for however long just to get stuff off their chest can help a person.

But with that being said I have to agree with Trieste as well, if your seeking professional help then this isn't the place to seek it, it's true there are bad shrinks and phone in helplines out there but there are also good ones out there too. As for those who are qualified, personally if someone here like Serephino was looking for someone just to talk to I wouldn't turn them away just because it's my free time I'm not that kind of person.

And Serephino I'm sorry you've experienced this crap but your not an idiot, and as far as you go I'm sure that if you were just looking for someone to speak to, you also seem like the person who obviously knows that this isn't the place to get mental help, the problem I see is that other people may not necessarily realise that, and therein lies the problem.


Quote from: Serephino on June 19, 2012, 03:55:37 PM

So my thought was, kinda like there's a Mentor staff to help new people, to have like a list of people that sign up to be kinda amateur counselors.   

Counseling is best left to the professionals. Given some of the things that come up from time to time with certain players, I think this could be a potentially dangerous or harmful situation. I lent a friend of mine my ear on here once, and she said it helped immensely, and I even offered her a bit of advice as a friend under the pretense that it was strictly not professional. So yes, it could be a good idea, but having it to be public and 'amateur' as you describe could open the door to predatory behavior for someone willing to go that far.


Quote from: NileGoddess on June 21, 2012, 11:58:02 AM
Counseling is best left to the professionals.

I see nothing wrong with someone "being there" for a friend.  It is a perfectly natural and admirable part of friendship.  I do, however, see a difference between that and people being appointed to listen and counsel as it seems is being suggested.  Doing so would leave Elliquiy as an institution, open to all sorts of liabilities whether we post a disclaimer or not.

It sounds like you've had a very rough deal, Serephino, with the psychiatrist that was assigned to you.  I've had my brush or two with depression and I was damn lucky that the professionals helping me were damn good.  I can only imagine what I would have felt had they been as bad as the person you had was.  That you would therefore seek a non-standard alternative isn't idiocy, it's an altogether understandable response to what must be an intolerable situation for you.
Quote from: Serephino on June 19, 2012, 06:27:25 PM
Part of my whole reasoning is that some people don't really have friends.  I was on E for three years before I made any.  I don't have many real life friends, and most of the time when I'm in real trouble they're sleeping.  There are people here who have said they don't have any real life friends, or not ones they can really count on.  I just... know what it's like to feel you have no one to turn to.

This is a very real issue, though, that while we get some people here who get a circle of friends very quickly, others can just be, well, overlooked.  I don't know what the answer to that is.  We are a site that prides itself, and rightly so, on our friendliness.  Yet even among the friendliest people, some can go unnoticed.  I don't know how we can get round that, though.
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I've been following this thread for a while now, and I've largely agreed with pretty much everything thats been said, on both sides of the issue. I've been where Serephino described, feeling alone with no one to talk to, and even though this place is not meant for that, many times E has gotten me through some bad days and dark nights. Now, I have no wish to volunteer anyone else without their permission, but if I could make a suggestion, it seems to me that there is already a place for this sort of 'venting', or looking for someone to talk to. Rhedyn's blog has, I think, proven to be an excellent thread for providing support and encouragement for those of us who face depression or other disorders. It's always seemed like a very warm, safe thread to me, where members are free to share their troubles, and you're much more likely to find words of comfort and encouragement from people who understand what youre going through. (It might take a while, because there's not exactly a schedule in place for checking new posts, but I've never seen anyone go unanswered for very long.) Also...*points to the Green Hug Monster in his siggy* Again, I don't intend to volunteer people without their permission, but the purpose of the GHM badge is to raise depression awareness, and hopefully offer a friendly ear to those that need it.
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