Online Mental Health Chat Rooms

 

Source:mashable.com

Maybe you are the type of person who is more comfortable communicating online than in person. Probably, you don’t like to sit face-to-face with someone.  Moreover, you are better with the written word than the spoken word.  Lastly, your schedule doesn’t have room for a therapist or group therapy appointment during traditional office hours. Chat rooms have gotten more secure and have safeguards in place to protect the participants.  If you need a depression chat room, that is one of the many types of mental health chat rooms available.

SAFETY TIPS

*Never say anything in a chat room that you don’t want the public to know, including your full name, your address, your phone number, your email address, etc.

*Don’t share social media accounts.

*Refrain from posting or sending a photo of yourself to anyone.

*Don’t open any attachments that are sent or posted.

*Never meet up in person on your own.

*Use only secured chat rooms.

FINDING THE BEST CHAT ROOM

Source:itacc.org

You can Google or research mental health chat rooms online.  There are a plethora of sites to choose from. Just like with a therapist, you need to find one that fits your needs and comfort level.  Visiting several sites first will give you a good idea of what is out there. Each of them may offer something a little different.  Only choose one that you connect with and that you feel will give you the most support.

You may even ask your primary care provider or therapist if they know of any reputable, compassionate chat rooms.  If they don’t have any references, check your health insurance website because they may very well sponsor their own health chat rooms.

Fortunately, many mental health chat rooms are presented by reputable companies or health care professionals. It definitely can be a safe place to discuss specific issues you may be having.  Most mental health chat rooms are broken down into very specific needs. You know that going into the specific chat room will have everyone on the same page.  If you are someone who feels uncomfortable talking about your issues face-to-face, this option may be a better alternative until you feel more comfortable communicating vulnerabilities.

When going online to find a chat room, you will notice that the landing page for the various chat rooms will have a disclaimer and a code of conduct for the chat room.  You will need to click on the “yes I understand the rules and guidelines of this chat room” box.  We all hope that all chat room attendees are coming from a place of support and kindness and that they are there to help and get help.

EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

Source:mashable.com

If you feel that you may want to hurt yourself or others, DO NOT go to a chat room. Call an emergency number, a close, trustworthy friend or family member.  If you feel that the chat room is not serving its purpose, you can also consult your primary care physician or a therapist.  The disclaimer on most/all of the chat rooms specify that the information in the chat rooms is not medical advice and should not be used as such.  If you are looking for a forum to get ideas or support, chat rooms are great.  However, they should not be used in place of professional mental health support.

Although moderators can kick out chatters who are being inappropriate, you may feel the need to report about the person, especially if they try to contact you outside the chat room, ask to meet, etc.  Cyber Tipline is a place where you can make that report.