Some of what has been detailed below may seem fairly obvious but it is important that you familiarise yourself with what is okay on the Ahead for Business online community forum and what kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.
- Often what people find helpful from forums like this one, is the opportunity to share difficult experiences and challenges. While participants are encouraged to share difficulties, it isn’t helpful to be overly negative. Being overly negative can bring other people down, and can affect your own mental health and wellbeing.
- The purpose of the forum is to support small business owners and their mental health and wellbeing. Please refrain from posting advertisements for products or businesses. Posts that include links, images or videos to interesting, relevant or useful information is acceptable.
- Remember that the Ahead for Business online community forum is a supportive space for all users. Some people may relate better to some members compared to others, but it is important to make sure all participants using the forum are included.
- The Ahead for Business online community forum will not tolerate posts that are nasty, single out and attack other participants or “troll”. We will also not tolerate posts where the content is offensive, inciting, threatening, insulting, or encouraging negative behaviour. Participants who engage in this type of behaviour will have their membership to the community forum suspended, or in more serious cases, terminated altogether.
- Please do not post anything that would be considered discriminatory on the basis of race, religion, sexuality, nationality, gender or any other personal characteristics.
- Please refrain from typing messages in capital letters, as this can be interpreted as shouting and/or aggression.
- It is important that participants do not break the law, or encourage others to do so, on the Ahead for Business online community forum. This can include discussing illegal activities.
- Participants should not post any copyrighted material.
Privacy and confidentiality
Whilst information you post is confidential, there are a few exceptions to this. If the team become concerned that you are at risk of harming yourself then we have a duty of care to get help for you. Similarly, if the team have any concerns about the safety of a child we may be duty-bound to report this information to Family and Community Services.
The information shared and comments published on the Ahead for Business online community forum represent a wide range of views and interests of the participating individuals. Statements made during online discussions are the personal opinions of the forum participants and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ahead for Business program, Everymind or funders.
Discussion of past experiences/trauma
Please refrain from posting descriptive or graphic details about any trauma that you may have experienced. While the team acknowledge that sharing your experience may be helpful and supportive to other small business owners, it is suggested you do not discuss traumatic experiences in explicit detail as it may impact negatively on your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others.
Difficult past traumatic experiences are best discussed with a health professional who can assist you in developing better ways of coping with the impact of these on your life. If you feel like you need to talk with someone about traumatic past experiences you could send a private message to the moderator, who may be able to provide you with some information about where you might be able to get some professional assistance.
Tips for engaging in the online community forum
While it's suggested that you protect your privacy on the site, you are encouraged to be yourself. You will get the most out of the forum if your posts accurately reflect your current situation. There is no need to pretend that things are going better or worse than they are (if that is not the case), in fact being open and honest may leave others in a better position to comment on your experiences, offer suggestions and give you support. The other benefit of sharing information with others is the realisation that there are a lot of other people experiencing similar challenges to you.
Treat people how you would want to be treated
The purpose of the forum is to provide a safe space where you can obtain support and encouragement from people who are in a similar situation to yourself. All users have a right to have their posts respected and for their comments to be responded to in an appropriate manner. Sharing information about your experiences can be difficult and it is made easier when you don’t feel judged or receive unhelpful feedback. Be helpful and encouraging when you comment on other people’s posts as people might be sharing information that they haven’t shared with others before.
If you are concerned about the content that someone has posted, including content that is offensive, is overly negative, or mentions self-harm, then use the “report post” function and please know that reporting a post is anonymous.