ThreadThe mental health of this community [Read Staff Post Before Posting]
It's mentioned in the staff post, but we're definitely not just letting the community handle it. Everything you're asking of us, we already do. We not only give them a notice that cannot be dismissed with resources, we reach out via PM and offer both support and more resources. In more serious cases, we take further steps as well. We have several staff members who help run the Mental Health discord, which is a more constant form of peer support. Some members do not always reply to PMs, however, despite being online and active. Everyone is different, and I don't think shutting down one avenue of support is helpful, fair or kind.
Speaking personally, I always found the thought of speaking to a stranger on a hotline too intimidating, and I'm not someone who struggles with social anxiety or anything. I find speaking to strangers quite easy. But speaking about something so personal can be hard. It was terrifying speaking to a doctor about it myself, for the first time, and that's thanks to the stigma attached to mental health, more so in some cultures than others. So I can only imagine how much more difficult it can be for someone who has social anxiety for example. We have to keep in mind that everyone is an individual and they're going to reach out for help in the way that is easiest and most comfortable for them. I think it's best to compare these threads as opening up to a friend, rather than seeing professional help. Because yes, even a friend or loved one can say the wrong thing, but that doesn't mean that their emotional support wouldn't be helpful. What I'd love to see happen though is for the culture of the forum to improve. I'll just quote something I said in another thread recently:Our current approach is one that we've taken after speaking to individuals who are affected by these issues as well as those with professional experience. It's one I personally feel has been more effective in helping individuals.