Staying Safe Online

We know that online resources and social media can be a really good way to support mental health and we created Sheffield Flourish as we believe that it is a good way to share stories, connect with a community and find out about the good stuff happening on our doorstep.

We also know that the internet can sometimes expose us to things which are not good for our mental health and wellbeing. Please think about how to look after your own mental health whilst you are online and please be aware that some stories and topics may trigger difficult emotions.

The following should help you and others be safer connecting with Sheffield Flourish:

  • Please do not share contact information, address details or telephone numbers online.
  • Please respect other people’s point of view.
  • It’s ok to share thoughts and feelings around self harm and suicide. But please avoid graphic descriptions or images, or detail about methods.
  • If you’re feeling very unsafe, please contact your mental health team, the Samaritans (116 123 / jo@samaritans.org), or the emergency services first.
  • It’s ok to share thoughts and feelings about food, eating and drinking. But please avoid numbers of calories, measurements, amounts of food eaten, images of weight loss or detail about methods of gaining or losing weight.
  • With issues such as addiction or alcohol abuse. It’s fine to seek support, but please avoid specifics about quantities or details about illegal drug use.
  • Please do not post negative or personal comments on a community members blog or story.

Remember if you feel exposed online you can always create an anonymous account by using a different name and photo.

Taking care of your own mental health

If things are tough for you right now, think about whether you might need more urgent support or to talk to someone face to face.

  • Try not to take on too much. There is no pressure to share anything if you don’t want to. No one is judging your use of the site.
  • Take breaks – being online can be overwhelming, tiring and emotionally draining so please be aware of what feels right for you.
  • Think about what you’re comfortable sharing. Sharing too much can leave you feeling vulnerable. If you want to remove something that you have posted on Sheffield Flourish please contact us and we will do our best to remove it.
  • Urgent support – if you’re not feeling safe or it’s all too much, contact the Samaritans (116 123 / jo@samaritans.org), call 999 or go to your nearest A&E department

More information

Get Safe Online has lots of useful information on web safety and security.

NSPA Guidelines Responding to Suicidal Content Online This guide sets out a recommended best-practice approach to responding to suicidal posts online.

Staying Safe on Social Media  An easy read guide

Staying safe in your digital place An online course by Tinder Foundation