Guidelines and User Manual

Information about SF including how to find things, what to do when there are problems and tutorials for using Chat, Private Messaging, and User Options.

Suicide Forum Guidelines and User Manual 

Making the Most of SF

Suicide Forum is a pro-life peer support forum. This means we are a community built on the giving and receiving of support, helping each other and giving each other a space to talk about things we may not be able to talk about in ‘real life’ or may not feel that other people can understand. In short, we are people who understand what it is like to want to die, supporting each other to find a way to live

SF is run completely by volunteers and is funded by donations from people who have been helped by SF or know someone who has been helped by SF.

We expect our members to be polite, kind, helpful and supportive at all times. We operate on an ‘if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything’ principle. This does not mean you cannot give constructive advice and suggestions, simply that the emphasis is on ways that things could be better as opposed to emphasiing the negative in another person or situation. Please treat others as you would wish to be treated.

Most people come to SF in the middle of a crisis – many have never used a forum or a chat room before. We hope that those people who feel able will reach out to others with words of support and encouragement. Some things to remember when giving or receiving support: 

It doesn’t matter whether or not you know ‘what to say’. Sometimes all it takes is a single line letting someone know they have been heard and they are not alone.

The vast majority of people here are in pain. It may be that some people will struggle to engage with you because they are having a hard time themselves. This is not a reflection on you or the effort you are making – be assured that even if people do not express it well at times, any efforts you make are appreciated and do help.

There will be times when someone comments on a thread you made or offers advice in chat that you do not like or want. The people here are not professionals - just people trying to help each other and of course everyone is different. If you receive advice or comments you do not find useful, try to remember that even if you do not agree with that person, they too the time and effort to try to help you.

It is a great idea to write in the My Story section to begin with so people get to know your situation. Don’t worry about posting in the wrong section or whether you are explaining yourself well – often the best thing to do is to just start talking.


Keeping SF Safe

SF is strictly about helping each other to find hope, to improve our life situations and overcome challenges and to find ways to want to live. This means saying things that are likely to make someone feel worse or to take actions that may be dangerous are not permitted in the forum or in chat. This includes:

Suicide Methods – Any mention of suicide methods or means of killing yourself are forbidden on SF. Please take care to give your post a read over before you publish it to make sure that you haven’t mentioned a specific method or manner to commit suicide or to prepare to commit suicide. [READ ABOUT SUICIDE METHODS]

Self-Harm Methods and Details – As most self-harmers know, thinking about self-harm can often lead to wanting to engage in it. Please avoid giving details or graphic descriptions about harming yourself and mentioning specific ways in which you harm yourself in order to keep other members safe from being ‘triggered’ into a self-harm episode.

Suicide Notes or Timelines– Posting a suicide note saying goodbye or that you will be dead by tomorrow or any specific date or time can make people feel that they have ‘said it, so now they have to do it’. For this reason we do not allow suicide notes or timelines as they prevent people from getting support and help. [READ ABOUT SUICIDE NOTE/TIMELINES]

Suicide Pacts and Encouraging Suicide – Encouraging or promoting suicide is subject to an instant ban. We are dedicated to keeping our members safe and alive. Suicide pacts are considered encouraging people to die and anyone found to be engaging in any behaviour that could be considered ‘pacting’ will be permanently banned from the site. [READ ABOUT SUICIDE PACTS]

Euthanasia and ‘Right to Die’ arguments – Discussions about whether or not it is ‘right’ for mentally ill or chronically depressed people to be allowed to die, or that you should be allowed to die in your circumstance are not permitted here. There are places on the internet for that type of philosophical/political debate but SF is not one of them. SF’s position is that ALL life is valuable and we are committed to a pro-life standpoint.

Sexual Details – A great many of our members have suffered some form of abuse or sexual trauma. For that reason we do not allow details of abuse, rape or other sex related issues to be posted on the forum. Abuse and rape are fine to talk about but we request that you avoid specifics.

Violent or Aggressive Content – Expressions of violent intent or desires are not permitted on SF. We appreciate that people are often angry and we do not have a policy against swearing (where the swearing is not directed AT another member) but we do not allow statements expressing desire or intent to harm other people, groups, animals etc.

Religious Preaching – Everyone on SF is entitled to their faith and if you wish to express that you find help or comfort from religion that is more than acceptable. Posts advising people to engage in religious activities such as praying, accepting god into your life, seeing a pastor etc are not permitted. SF is not a place to preach your religion.


SF Staff – Safety and Support

SF staff and admin are all volunteers who were once ‘regular’ SF members. All staff are here to ensure the safety of our members and to give support on the forums and in chat.

We are always happy to talk to people who would like to volunteer to help on SF or have skills they think might be useful. Please feel free to get in contact with a member of Admin if you feel you would like to help on SF.

Problems with other SF members, particular posts, incidents in chat and any other concerns can be reported confidentially in the same way. If you see a violation of our rules or guidelines please make sure that it is reported for the safety of all our members. Reports are confidential and the person reported will never be informed that you reported them.

We expect all members to follow staff instructions at all times, without argument or abuse. If you have a question about a staff instruction or problem with a staff member you can write a Letter to the Admin (LTA) or report the problem using the forum or chat report functions which are confidential and will not alert the staff member that you have reported them


Warnings and Points

Violations of the site rules will result in warnings. Some warnings carry warning ‘points’ and members who cannot abide by the rules and get several warnings will lose site privileges in order to keep SF safe for other members. There are unofficial warnings with zero points for very minor issues and more important issues or repeated offences receive official warnings with points. Most warnings expire in 2 years.

First warning – 3 points

Second warning – 6 points

Third warning – 9 points (Account put ‘Under Suspension’ for two weeks. This means you can read the forum but not reply to posts, post your own threads, use chat or chat to people in Private Messages)

Fourth Warning – 12 points (Permanent Account Ban – all SF user privileges revoked)

Some rule violations carry more than a 3 point warning. These include:

Encouraging suicide or pacting – 12 points (Permanent Account Ban – all SF user privileges revoked)

Sexually aggressive or predatory behaviour – 12 points (Permanent Account Ban – all SF user privileges revoked)

Other intentionally antisocial behaviour deemed by the Admin or Staff to be Trolling – 12 points (Permanent Account Ban – all SF user privileges revoked)



Using Chat

The chat function is available to all registered members and can be found in the bottom right hand corner of your browser page:

There are two public chat rooms: Main Chat and Triggering Subjects. It is best to start using chat by visiting the main chat room and saying hello. Chat is a friendly space for socialising, seeking support and making friends.

All the forum rules apply to all the chat functions, whether that is using the chat rooms or using the private chat function. We expect chat users to “self-moderate” regardless of whether a member of staff is currently in the room. If you see someone mentioning methods or talking about subjects that may be unsafe, please remind them politely of the rules and report the incident using the chat report function.

Occasionally people will seek support in chat about a topic that you may find distressing or uncomfortable. Please remember to keep yourself safe in these instances and come back to chat later when it may be safer for you. Typically distressing topics are requested to move to the ‘Triggering Subjects’ room for the safety of other chat users. Please only go to Triggering Subjects if you can safety offer support.

It is polite to ask permission from people in chat before you private message them. Private message is ONLY for talking privately with people to offer support or socialise. It is never to be used to be rude or express negativity toward or about any other members of SF. Private message may be read by Staff and Admin 

Any kind of sexual banter, flirting, crude innuendo and/or graphic content is strictly forbidden in the chat rooms. There are members as young as 13 using our chat. Please be aware that adult caught engaging in predatory behaviour toward a minor WILL be reported to the authorities.

All chat room activity and private chat messages are logged and moderated. Admin will check all reported conversations and incidents as well as random log checks to ensure the safety of chat users.



Accounts and Personal Information

We do not delete accounts on SF. The reason for this is that people regularly want to isolate themselves in difficult periods and later regret having asked for their account to be closed. We do not wish to leave anyone without support for any reason, particularly not if they are having an especially difficult time.

We do not store information about accounts or members and you are in control of your personal information. Please be careful to protect your anonymity. This includes:

Not using an identifying photo as an avatar

Not using a username that you use elsewhere on the internet

Not sharing personal, identifying information in forum posts or sharing it in chat

If you no longer wish to use SF you can change your user name and email address on record and simply stop signing into SF. Changing your email address to one no longer in use erases the only possible means of contact SF has with you.

Sharing Personal Information

SF does not endorse sharing personal information and offsite contacts. When conversations are taken offsite you are no longer protected by SF guidelines and we can take no responsibility for anything any member does away from the site. This means that if someone is predatory, rude, insulting, triggering, dangerous etc away from the site, while you are encouraged to report it, in most instances SF are unable to do anything to help to protect you.

For this reason we strongly recommend keeping your offsite contacts private and considering why someone might wish to speak to you away from the safety rules we have on site.

If you do decide to share private and personal contact information such as email address, Skype, Facebook, kik etc, you do so at your own risk and you may only do so in private messaging or private conversations.

It is strictly forbidden to ask someone else for their offsite details or ask them if they would like to go offsite to talk. You may share your own details and wait to see if this is reciprocated, but requesting offsite information or asking or trying to persuade someone to talk to you offsite will be considered predatory and your account will be banned.