Guidelines for health and relationships

Health and Relationships Guidelines

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Welcome to the Health and Relationships forums. These forums are very busy and contain threads of a sensitive nature, so we operate a strict moderation policy to keep the place safe and sensible for everyone.

This forum is for advice, suggestions and insight only. You must remember that we are NOT health professionals and therefore all advice should be not be considered professional or reliable. Do not hesitate to see a professional, go to A&E or telephone NHS direct (111 except in these areas where you shall call 0845 46 47, or if you are in Scotland you should call NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24). NHS Direct/ NHS 24 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you need urgent medical advice.

These forum guidelines outline the specific rules in the Health & Relationships forums, and our moderation policy.


Specific Forum Rules

Below are the Health and Relationships forum specific rules, which you are advised to familiarise yourself with:

General rules

  • Do not post threads that are explicit, erotic, titillating or vulgar.
  • Do not post troll or joke threads.
  • Do not post replies that are obscene, offensive, abusive or harassing.
  • Threads where the last reply was over three months ago should not be resurrected. It is extremely confusing.
  • You are reminded not to spam threads and to be sensitive to the original poster's concerns by keeping on topic.
  • Do not make inappropriate jokey comments. Posts must be sensible.

Our definition of spam posts includes the following:

  • Posts which are not relevant to the discussion.
  • Posts which are not a piece of constructive advice or discussion.
  • Posts which encourage or are part of a off topic conversation.
  • Posts which are comprised of a single smiley or image with the exception of the ditto smiley which may be used when relevant to the thread.
  • Posts which make jokes about or try to belittle the problems being mentioned in the thread.
  • Posts which are aimed at provoking an argument.
  • Posts which aim to be offensive to other members.

Anonymous Function Guidelines

The anonymous function is turned on in all Health and Relationships forums to allow members to discuss sensitive subjects and situations. Moderators in this section are able to see the usernames of anonymous posters, but we are extremely discreet. We will NEVER de-anon your post, even if we don't think it should be anon (although we will make use of the warning system), and we will never reveal your identity to members or mods outside of this section.

We are very strict on the permitted use of the anon function. It is ONLY to be used when absolutely necessary, and ONLY when posting about something very personal or sensitive.

The anon function may be used for:

  • If posting a new thread that describes a situation or experience the user is currently involved in that they would not want made public and linked to their username. For example things related to personal health, sexuality, bullying, or abuse.
  • Replying to a very sensitive topic with examples of related personal experience.

The anon function IS NOT for:

  • Using just because you feel like it.
  • Insulting other members or trolling.
  • Hiding behind to avoid backlash for your thread or post.
  • Posting something which is not directly concerning a sensitive personal experience or situation that you would feel embarrassed by if it was to be linked with your username.
  • Posting something that belongs in a different forum, just so you can be anonymous.

If you feel you have a valid reason for using the anon function that might not be obvious, please do attempt to make it clear in your post.

We take misuse and abuse of the anonymous function very seriously. Please use the 'post report' feature if you see anonymous posts where you feel the feature is being misused or abused.


Premoderation is switched on in the following forums within Health and Relationships:

Anonymous threads and posts by members in the probationary users group will also be premoderated.

If you post a new thread in one of these forums, it will enter a queue to be approved by a moderator before it appears on the forums. DO NOT repost a thread because you can't see it pop up right away. It hasn't gone missing - it's in the queue waiting for one of us to look over it. Please be patient and we will get to it as soon as we can!

Moderation Policy

Health and Relationships has its own dedicated moderation team, who are:

  • Coke Or Pepsi
  • Kabloomybuzz
  • lyrical_lie
  • moonkatt
  • ParadoxSocks
  • rmhumphries
  • Rock Fan
  • Sabertooth
  • Tilly-Elizabeth
  • greeneyedgirl
  • Idle
  • randdom

They run around like crazy trying to keep these forums tidy and running smoothly. But they can't do it alone - they need your help, so please do report any rule breaking you see on the forums or any misplaced threads, even if you're not 100% sure. It's better to draw our attention to things so we can check and be sure than miss something :)

In addition (and superseding) the general site moderation policy, our specific Health and Relationships moderation policy is as follows:

Suicide and self harm threads

We will close threads discussing suicidal or self harm feelings and intentions. It's not that we don't want to talk to you, it's that some members give out upsetting or misleading, sometimes even dangerous, advice. Don't be offended if we close your thread. The Samaritans (08457 90 90 90) are professionals who listen and don't judge, they're just an ear, something you were probably looking for when you decided to post. Alternatively, you could visit the National Self Harm Network forum for support from users and trained staff.

Sex threads

People want to talk about it, naturally, but this isn't sex chat. We don't want hints, tips, or position talk. We don't want to know what about your sexual preferences, and we're not the place to help you decide which vibrator to buy!

Threads discussing illegal activity

Threads discussing illegal activity such as taking drugs will be removed in almost every case. Exceptions would be where you are asking for advice on how to support someone with a drug habit, or how to talk to someone about your concerns about their drug taking, for example.


Images are turned off in this forum as people use them mostly to spam. Please don't post photographs of genitals as this constitutes adult content. Linking to a labelled diagram to aid your point is permissible, but we will use our judgement to see whether it crosses the line or not

'3 strikes and out' policy

If you receive 3 warnings from Health and Relationships, you will be banned permanently from these two forums. Your second warning, therefore, will be your 'final warning'. This policy is intended to target the persistent troublemakers who break the more serious rules such as trolling, insulting posters, abusing the anon function etc.


Spam will be removed and may result in a card being issued. We will be toughening up on spam in forums and threads of a sensitive nature, particularly in the Sexual and Mental Health forums

Trolling, insulting or abusing other members

Posts of this nature are not acceptable, and will result in a card being issued.

Misuse of anonymous function

Misuse of the anonymous function is typically where you have posted something which didn't need to be anon, but does not otherwise break the rules.

Abuse of the anonymous function

Abuse of the anonymous function is where the anonymous function is deliberately misused, usually for the purpose of breaking the rules. This will result in a card being issued due to the abuse.

Inappropriate posts in self harm/suicide threads

Due to the extremely sensitive nature of these threads, posts which encourage members to commit suicide, self harm, or otherwise give information/instructions about how to commit suicide or self harm, will receive a temporary ban Similarly, posts insulting, berating or otherwise insensitive posts will also receive a temporary ban.

Encouraging or condoning illegal activity

This particularly applies to encouraging or condoning the use of illegal drugs. Even if you intend it as a joke, your post will be removed and will result in a card being issued.