A few days ago, I made a post creating the job offering of mental health ambassador for the community. We had an outstanding response and there were several people who opted to work the ambassador role on certain days of the week (we’re still ironing out all of the details). In order to provide a better reach for posts which may be overlooked, we’ve listened to user feedback and developed a strategy.
On a sidenote, I will admit… my writing style in the prior post was a little bit pissy, and while I do attribute that to a very difficult day, I should not have been taking it out on the community – alas, I’m an imperfect human with room to improve. I hope you can forgive this!
Community Support to aid our Mental Health Ambassadors
One of our members, @luchyl, proposed using tagging as a mechanism to engage more people to see posts from people who are suffering from a mental health issue and might need quick support. This would provide an excellent adjunct way of bringing additional people into the mix aside from just our dedicated mental health ambassadors. In case an ambassador is not around or can’t answer right away, this would give more people who happen to be online and interested in helping a direct opportunity to do so.
Thus, our strategy will be to tag all mental health ambassadors in addition to anyone who expresses interest in being tagged for such posts. Of course, responding to the tag would be completely optional. Just keep in mind that if nobody never responds, then we’ve missed the entire point of tagging!
The usernames of all people who request the tag will be collected and posted in the mental-health-ambassadors channel in our Discord, and possibly also included in a pinned post on Hive, just so all information is in one place – if you agree to this. This will provide a quick reference for our ambassadors (or anyone else who happens to catch a relevant post) to copy and paste and tag everyone who is interested in helping.
Please let us know whether you’re interested in being tagged!
Every additional person who gets tagged can be a resource to help out a person in need. The more people we have available at any given time of day, the more likely a quick response and engagement can be achieved.
As we grow in membership, we will hopefully have enough people volunteering to this job that the community can be a self-sufficient, constantly active hub for people to come seek help and get a fast response. This was one of the intentions of the initial iteration of the community on its prior platform, and with the dedication of the people I see here, I think we’ve got an amazing shot of achieving this goal with fewer people.
Guidelines to Help Address People in Need
Similarly to what I wrote in the prior post, you can always ask me questions about the proper approach to situations if you’d like. To reiterate some salient points:
Since every situation is different, there is no single proper answer. However, a key point to remember is to not be dismissive about the person’s concerns (i.e. don’t say, “don’t worry, this too shall pass” or something similarly generic that sounds like a feeble attempt to be positive without addressing the actual issue at hand).
However, you typically do not have to go to great lengths at the very beginning. Simply reaching out with a greeting and acknowledging someone’s difficulties can be a highly productive start in the process of helping them. This first step is sometimes the most significant one, and as such is the primary job of the mental health ambassador (or in this case, anyone who happens to be the first to respond to a post).
In the near future, I aim to establish a specific account made to upvote and promote posts from people who are having mental health struggles. The goal of this account is not a financial incentive, but rather to increase the visibility of the post, as posts with higher rewards have greater visibility.
This account would be shared among our mental health ambassadors, who will have access to vote on such posts and promote them. Promotions would ideally be for no longer than 1-2 days, simply to increase the visibility of and address the acute problem.
There is no doubt that abuse of such a mechanism would be feasible. Over time, we’ll determine how to detect such situations and discourage them. However, catching someone who is genuinely struggling, and helping them, supersedes the importance of upvoting a false positive (and keep in mind that those votes still can be removed within a 7 day window).
What do you think of the idea of tagging individuals? How about the voting account for such posts? Are there any other ways that we can increase visibility of posts where time-sensitive help would be essential?
I would love to hear any and all opinions about these topics from everyone who is currently a member of FreeCompliments, since you’re all inaugural members! Anyone else who finds this page is also very welcome to voice their opinion. We’re all about free speech, and everyone’s experience has value.
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(If you were tagged, it’s because you’re an inaugural member – please let me know if you don’t want to be tagged and I’ll stop, pronto!)
More posts with further ideas incoming soon!
Disclaimer: FreeCompliments will be a beneficiary for this post, and I will attempt to boost it via Ecency points as well.