Mind, the mental health charity, provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. They won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.
Mind’s digital forum Friends in Need is a way for people affected by depression to meet and chat, both online and in their local area. The community can help members to maintain recovery, share their experiences and make a difference. Friends in Need has over 56,000 members and more than 2,000 groups. (Note: in 2018 FiN was closed due to CMS issues).
StrawberrySocial specialises in keeping charity communities safe and have moderated Friends in Need during evenings and weekends for almost three years. A major part of the role is to monitor discussion, as light-touch as possible, allowing people to answer each other’s questions, providing peer support. It is also to monitor for crisis situations, such as violence, eating disorders, alcohol or drug abuse, child safety, self-harm or suicide, and sometimes need to hide these posts to keep the community safe. The moderator will email the forum member (as well as notifying the community that the member is being supported) to explain why the comment/s were removed, to check if they are OK and to provide links to places they can get help, such as NHS, Sane, Samaritans and the Mind Infoline. If necessary, and with their permission, the moderator will pass on information to emergency services on their behalf.
The StrawberrySocial team is meticulous about following escalation workflows and also have clear and robust processes in place to ensure the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.
Another part of the role is acting as greeter to help new members feel welcome and supported. The core of the forum is to enable users to help each other but, should a new member not receive a response from the community within a couple of hours, the ‘greeter’ will post as a greeter to help guide them as to how to use the forum.
The whole team have online safety qualifications such as CEOP and NSPCC as well as being Moderation Gateway certified and DBS checked.