Promoting Health and wellbeing - care act.
We need to do something different about calling for help for people on the forum. I have personally seen suicidal behavior on this forum. In the form of ideation, saying what they are going to do. And thrashing, a person who is obviously is pain hurting everyone.
It's fine to have an email to alert the mods. But that may not get used because it invalidates the anonymity of the person using the email to make the request. It also takes a while to get a response. And therefore I suspect does often get used as often.
Also, I feel that the person that needs help should get a direct message. And perhaps not a public one. I don't know. You know "chastise in private, celebrate in public." I think that mods do this so that people know that is has been taken care of. It's the best fit solution.
I have some solutions that require no money, just awareness. And longer term will be required updates to a forum.
If anyone has any thoughts on the subject please reply below.
Just like to say this is a discussion forum, not Samaritans. If the mods did decide that they should take responsibility for what people do outwith the discussion context they are opening a whole can of legal and ethical worms that are better handled through the existing channels.
Esmeralda said:Just like to say this is a discussion forum, not Samaritans.
This forum is under the auspices of the NAS, and serves a lot of vulnerable people. There are those who use this forum who have many psychiatric problems in addition to their autism, and as such are very vulnerable. The NAS has a duty of care, having enabled the forum, to take an interest in people who are exhibiting behaviour which seems out of control and should offer help (and I believe it does) when someone is exhibiting extreme characteristics and behaviour.
Anyone who witnessed the nature of a series of posts a few weeks ago would recognise the need for a 'moderator alert' button. The current 'Report as abusive' button is not fit for purpose as it does not offer an opportunity to state why. Posts may not be abusive on the surface as individual items, but when a pattern is observed this may indicate some unacceptable behaviour. This together with posts where someone is threatening others or themselves with harm, makes such a button essential. The button could help prevent potential abuse, could alert moderators to the possibility that someone may need help outside of the forum, be able to direct someone to a more appropriate place for help or let a moderator send a private message to someone to help ensure someone is ok. I contacted the moderators by email about someone who I was extremely worried about and received a reply which helped put my mind at rest.
The 'legal minefield' is already being traversed by having this forum in the first place, especially if people begin issuing malicious threats to others, as did happen. Such posts are against the Malicious Communications act and as such are criminal behaviour, for which moderators do have a duty to prevent such. This should obviously be prevented before it gets to this stage again.