sorryy...but i feel something needs to be said...

hellonwheels's picture

...so jeff, pat, adrian (if ur still around) a few points need to be addressed.

in the last few months, yes MONTHS, there have been more and more new users, w/. seemingly more and more issues of varyign types, than ive ever seen @ one point in time in the 5 years ive been on this site.

as one of the 'older'? kids on here, i feel there are some issues that jeff and the admins should probably address

it seems like more and more, there are kids and people coming on here w/ alll kinds of issues, thinking this site was designed for their mental well being, talking about pregnancies and abortions, suicide, cutting, depression, eating disorders, what have you.

the last few months, there have been more suicide scares, more death threats, more posts about body image issues and depression, i feel that we need to make a page or some sort fo helpline for the oasis communtiy.

this site is great for SOOO many reasons, and for soooo many kids, but it also has its issues.

Jeff, if some kid comes on the site, and says they are gonna off themsleves, are you not legally responsible to take some sort of action?

honestly, i think if we are going to discuss these issues and help kids who are dealing w/ all this BULL out there, that we should address a forum and or section of the site for ppl w/ certain issues.

be those issues cutting and self mutilation, social awkwardness, eating disorders and image issues, depression, suicidal thoughts and tendancies, gender issues and things of that nature. i feel if we have some resources posted, it will be a better help for those kids

i know oasis is a great community, and w/o it, i might not be alive today, btu we NEED to do something about all the issues that have been addressed lately on the site...

more than a HUGS forum anyway,

tho that was a great idea BD!

those are my thoughts. anyone care to chime in?

thanks

hell

Comments

patnelsonchilds's picture

It's in the works

Great minds think alike. Actually, we're working on that very thing. Jeff has got a long-term plan that will address some of this, and I am working on something to help us in the short term. I've just been kind of swamped lately, so I hadn't had time to figure out how exactly to format it, but I've recently had a chance to look over how this site is constructed, so I should be able to get something up soon. It will be an evolving thing, but I have several links to begin with, and I'm sure you guys will have good suggestions too.

Til then, HUGS ALL ROUND,
Pat

_________________________________

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay & lesbian characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"

Uncertain's picture

I disagree

I agree that many people seem to talk about problems in their life (and have every right to), but I don't agree with the hotline for many reasons.

I see the purpose of Oasis to be a peer support site, a place to share our views and life stories regardless of whether they are good, bad, uplifting, sad, tragic and so on. This goes hand in hand with the feedback from other users. And although the trend tends to be that people vent a lot more than talk about the positive things, I think having a 'hotline' or some sort would defeat the purpose of this site.

Firstly, sometimes people are just having a bad day and need to rant. And therefore are not really asking for any form of legal (or professional) help at all, we aren't ones to judge.

Secondly, which links very closely to the first point, everything is relative. We might care about each other, but we don't fully understand the situations everyone is in. When someone posts something negative, how bad the situation is is purely up to perception of the individual (of the writer and the reader). And again, how can we possibly determine the severity of the situation that should warrant interference, even when it might be against their will? (Taking into that point, if you make the "hotline" voluntary for people who want to seek advice/help, isn't that what we're doing already? Unless you're talking about professional help, which I will address later)

Thirdly is confidentiality. Claiming responsibility to help those who want to "off" themselves implies some sort of interference on our part against their will, and that could seriously compromise their confidentiality of what they post here, especially if they sounded a 'false alarm' or just had a 'bad day'. If you are not referring to non-consensual interference, then I see the "hotline"'s purpose already fulfilled because we help and give advice to each other without actively intefering.

You said something about people coming here thinking this site's about their mental wellbeing (with an implied tone that it's not supposed to be). I think this site is about self reflection and possibly bettering ourselves - which really does tie in with mental wellbeing. And if that self reflection has to do with pregnancies, anger outlet, rage, eating disorders or depression I think it's perfectly fair for the individual to rant and talk about that.

Furthermore is practicality. What actually constitutes this hotline that isn't preceded by what this site already does? How does it work? I already discussed a third party interfering into another person's affairs being bad enough, but if you are referring to professional advice then there are some other problems too.

This again, is a peer support site. Although it's good we care and want to help each other, there's only so much someone can do over the net. I don't think the onus is on jeff and those who run the site to provide professional care on a site which purpose isn't that. The responsibility is on the individual to seek more direct support and professional help elsewhere if the issue is simply too serious. I want to reiterate, I know we all care - but there are simply too many limitations to what we can do over the internet.

And, you talk about how more and more people are having "issues" on this site and we need to eliminate that. Firstly, I think "issues" are part of everyone's lives and if they are really really serious a website will not solve that problem anyway (otherwise it won't be a serious serious "issue"). What we can do is make the individual feel better.

Last but not least, by isolating all the "issues" and creating a group/forum/section/whatever/hotline to deal with them is not going to eliminate the problems any better. In fact, I think by isolating them and labelling the perceived problems of people on this site we are highlighting and augmenting them. It defeats what the hotline sets out to do.

So I think we should just keep doing what we do best - just keep posting and people can keep giving our own piece of advice and comments. I think that already achieves more than what a hypothetical hotline could possibly achieve. We don't need something to label our problems and give a supposedly absolute/objective solution to problems that would be much more complex than its face value.

P.S. Hell, I know you're well-intentioned. I just don't think it's a good idea lol.

patnelsonchilds's picture

Uncertain...

We're not creating a hotline or anything like that. We're just adding a page where people can find other resources for help that is beyond the scope of this site. There's a difference between people who come in here to rant, journal, or get support, and those who need qualified professional help. As you correctly point out, we are not equipped to provide that, but it will be helpful if everyone here can easily find someplace to refer people rather than just saying "well good luck with that". If anything, having these other resources listed somewhere will make it even more clear that Oasis is a journaling and support site ONLY, and that other kinds of help should be sought elsewhere. That's not meant to drive anyone away, but to guide those who need more than we can give them to a place that can actually help.

_________________________________

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay & lesbian characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"

Uncertain's picture

Oh, replace 'hotline' with

Oh, replace 'hotline' with 'helpline' in my post. I must've misread helpline for hotline in hell's post - although what I meant doesn't make a difference I think.

The resources sound like a great idea though! My post was mostly referring to the original post assuming it'd be about 'helplines' and 'professional' advice. There's no way I could've speculated what was planned by you and Jeff. But now that you mention it's just resources, I think it's great. From experience it was a glbt resource website that directed me here over three years ago.

I just don't want a separate section where everyone's misery is concentrated and highlighted and augmented (and possibly even compared - note already how many people here say they feel their problems aren't 'big' enough compared to others). I just think that'd be counterproductive.

jeff's picture

Yup...

Agree with all the above.

And while I'm fine creating a separate forum area for people to talk about movies, and music, etc., I don't imagine ever separating the suicidal into their own niche, if for no other reason than our next media wave being a suicide pact.

But seriously, I think the strength of Oasis is that we don't split off into camps. Most gay sites have separate areas for gays and lesbians, and I'd guess our not having that is what makes this site as unique as it is.

---
"People who are happy are slugs... They do not move the human race forward."
-- Camille Paglia, on Oasis

WantsOut's picture

Uncertain is completely

Uncertain is completely correct.

I think that changing may actually become counter productive, but I personally have a fear of any change in routine.

However, I do feel like if we change anything, things may go a bit more awry... It's just a gut feeling. I dunno. Ignore me or acknowledge me, I've said my bit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

What's my name, What's my name?

*Breathing noises*

Hold the S because I am an Ain't

-Marilyn Manson, (S)aint

jeff's picture

heh..

Every time I change the site, I get bitched out by some for how awful it is and how they're going to leave now, but never do. I imagine it will happen this time as well, as it is the biggest change ever, heh.

This is contingent on my job lasting past June, so we shall see.

---
"People who are happy are slugs... They do not move the human race forward."
-- Camille Paglia, on Oasis

jeff's picture

Well...

Two quick points before I go write...

-- Legally responsible? Since users here are anonymous, I don't even know anyone's name, where they live, etc., so unlike a therapist whose client says something like this and has to act on it, there's no similar recourse here.

-- Any planned site changes have been long in the works and completely unrelated to recent drama here.

I do think giving something attention gives it power, though. And even though there may be a slight uptick in depressed people, etc., everyone else has referenced the drama and such in their posts, too. So, on some level, my advice is deal with the depressed people in their posts and comments, and keep it there. Otherwise we get 1 depressed post, and 10 posts referencing recent drama, suicidal thoughts on here lately, depression, which help make the issue larger than it is.

On another level, we need to realize the weakness of online community and peer support, which is that in extreme cases we get the unqualified helping the helpess, and both feeling worse as a result. Normally, Oasis has been about being heard when you can't be heard in your everyday life, helping others with the same, offering comfort, support, and that's all useful and practical and life-changing. If our full-time job becomes talking people off ledges, I'd hate to clean that sidewalk.

---
"People who are happy are slugs... They do not move the human race forward."
-- Camille Paglia, on Oasis

WantsOut's picture

He's got a point... How

He's got a point... How typical.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

What's my name, What's my name?

*Breathing noises*

Hold the S because I am an Ain't

-Marilyn Manson, (S)aint

Siovampire's picture

I personally think it's a

I personally think it's a great idea...I didn't have any kind of helpline or hotline or whatever the hell you wanna call it. I had to rely on ME to keep myself from offing myself. I didn't know of any helplines or whatever. I know FOR A FACT that if I had been on here then and I had seen a link for getting help...I'd be a hell of a lot less fucked up than I am now.

I think that, whatever the hell you say or wanna argue, that is the best thing that Oasis could have. Why hold back on something that could really save kids?