Frequently asked questions
Welcome! We hope you will come back to visit us many times, so we would like to explain a few things about how this site works. If you have any questions we haven’t thought of please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d really like to hear from you!
How do I join?
Register here (and there is another link on the top right of the screen). Membership is free, and we’d love to welcome you to our community.
Why do you ask people to register?
For obvious reasons, the content of this site is often very personal. In order to discuss a topic as sensitive as mental health we need to look after the privacy of the people involved. We also want to look after the privacy of clinicians who might like to use this site, so that they feel able to contribute and ask questions.
We want to create a feeling of goodwill and respect, so that we can build a supportive online community – a place where people will feel comfortable sharing their stories and experiences, and opening up a dialogue.
We feel that the best way to do this is to ask people to register as members, and agree to some basic rules about respect, good manners and privacy. We reserve the right to remove or block members if those rules are broken.
Can I stay anonymous? What information do I have to give you?
Yes, you can stay anonymous – even from us. We do not ask for any personal information. All we ask for is:
- a username of your choice. We suggest you don’t include your surname, and you can make it completely random – how about “Splodge” for example? But nothing rude, please!
- an email address to verify that you actually exist, and in case you need to be contacted. If you don’t already have an email address you can get one free via gmail. Your email address will only be available for administrative purposes and will not be passed on to third parties or seen by site visitors.
- whether you are a carer, a clinician/mental health worker, student, carer consultant or “other”. This is simply so we have some idea of the sort of people we are reaching.
I want to comment, but I signed up under my real name and now I want to be anonymous. What can I do?
You can edit your own profile once you log in (look on the right hand side of the black bar at the top). Then you can simply change your “nickname” and choose to show that name publicly. Your email address won’t show up in any comments, so it doesn’t matter if that includes your name.
If you need some help with this please email email@example.com
I want to use my real name. Can I?
There are some good reasons to use your real name, including:
- acknowledging ownership of your work (especially your copyright)
- wanting to “come out” and put a face to mental illness in order to fight stigma
- involvement in professional publications or presentations where connecting your name to this profile is important
There are also good reasons NOT to use your real name, including:
- impact on the confidentiality of the person you care for
- ability to comment openly and anonymously
- impact on employment or other personal aspects of your life
Ultimately, this is a decision for you, and we suggest you think it through carefully. The most important issue from our viewpoint is that someone else is not hurt by your choice – but only you can take responsibility for that.
As an example, many authors (including the founder of this website) have to have a public profile for professional purposes but choose to use a pen name, or alternative name that is not connected to someone they care for. This can help to both give you ownership and protect another person’s confidentiality.