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Where can I find safety information on TeenHelp?
We have published a comprehensive guide to keeping you safe on TeenHelp and elsewhere online called the Safety Zone, which you can find here.

What are Infractions and how would I get one?

Infractions are given when you break the Terms of Service that you agreed to when you signed up for the site. These add infraction points to your account.

Below you can see the different types of infractions that can be given and how long each one will remain on your user account. An infraction is one that adds points to your account, while a warning is issued to alert you of bad behaviour without adding points to your account. Warnings are usually given when the staff feel you don't know any better (e.g. if you're a new member), though most of the time these will not be used.

As indicated by the screenshot, thirty points or more (from any combination of infractions) will result in a permanent ban from TeenHelp. When you receive an infraction you are notified by Private Message, which should contain a more detailed reason as to why the staff member felt it was necessary to warn you for your behaviour.

Most members of TeenHelp will never receive an infraction or warning so let's hope you stay on the right side of the Terms of Service.


How to resolve disputes and provide feedback on TeenHelp.

How to challenge a moderating decision

Our Lead Moderators are concerned with monitoring the appropriateness of moderator actions and the reasons behind those actions. They also work to resolve any disputes between users on TeenHelp, making sure that discipline of users is as unbiased as possible. When a conflict occurs (e.g. over whether or not to ban a user) the majority vote of this group will have the final say as to what actions are taken.

When should you submit a dispute?

  • If you disagree with content being closed or removed.
  • If you disagree with an infraction or ban that has been issued.
  • If you have any other disagreement with a user or Staff member that can't be resolved by simply contacting a Moderator.

To submit a dispute, use this form. All complaints will be taken seriously and will be discussed carefully before decisions are made. Users will not be punished in any way for anything submitted through this form.

In cases when a member or a number of members are considered to be biased (e.g. the complaint is about them), they will be asked to abstain from the decision, and where this prevents a majority vote from occurring, an independent person will be asked to take part in the vote instead.

Your dispute will be handled by following our Complaints Procedure: Here

How to submit general feedback about a volunteer

Our Project Officers monitor the activity and behaviour of TeenHelp Staff members. After information has been gathered, they are able to discuss how well each Staff member is performing their duties and provide the Coordinators with feedback as to what action might be appropriate (e.g. promotion, no action, discipline, or removal). They are also responsible for scouting out TeenHelp users that might be suitable for a Staff position. They also assist us in determining the suitability of potential Staff members by reviewing Staff applications.

When should you submit feedback?

  • If you witness a Staff member breaking the rules or acting inappropriately.
  • If you have any comments or concerns regarding a Staff member or their overall performance and suitability as a member of TeenHelp's Staff.
  • If you have had a positive experience with a Staff member and would like to tell us about it.

To submit feedback about a Staff member, use this form. All complaints will be taken seriously and will be discussed carefully before decisions are made. Users will not be punished in any way for anything submitted through this form.


Triggering and other prefix guidelines.

When you create a new post in the Forums you have the choice to add a 'prefix' to your thread to warn others about the content. Many users also choose to add these to things such as their blogs by typing the equivalent prefix in the title.

Prefixes aim to give you advisory information about the page you're about to see, to warn you of potentially upsetting or unsuitable content in order to protect you. The most common prefix is 'triggering' which covers different content others may find upsetting. There are also prefixes to mark content as containing swearing or spoilers of TV shows for example.

Generally speaking a prefix should be used for content that is a little 'borderline' and may risk breaking the Terms of Service. Applying a prefix doesn't excuse rule breaks, but it does warn users of content that may be close to breaking rules or that might upset certain people.

The following guidelines should be used when deciding whether or not to apply a triggering prefix to a thread:

  • Only apply a triggering prefix if the content is likely to be triggering to a relatively large number of people to an extent substantially above the normal risk in that forum.
  • Think about whether the content is something the person is likely to see in their everyday life. If it's something really common it might not be considered triggering, but if it's something a person might normally avoid then this would be suitable for the prefix.
  • Only apply specific prefixes in a forum where material of that nature would be unexpected. For example, you might apply the "Triggering (Substances):" prefix to a thread in the Mental Health forum if it were relevant, but not to a thread in the Substance Use forum.
  • Please add the 'weight numbers' prefix when it is appropriate. This usually includes any human bodyweight and especially applies to the General Health forum. Please see the Code of Conduct for further details.

The following guidelines should be used when deciding whether or not to apply a non-PG13 prefix to a thread:

  • We recognise that TeenHelp appeals to people of many ages. It is generally aimed at individuals aged 13-24. What is suitable for older users is not suitable for younger ones. Most content on TeenHelp should be "PG13", this means it is suitable users who are 13 years old. If it's a little more mature than that then it should be marked as Non-PG13, by which we mean it is suitable to viewed by someone slightly older, up to the age of perhaps 17. We do not allow 18+ content under any circumstances.

What are the TeenHelp Staff positions?

Useful links: What is the TeenHelp Staff Application process?

The following is a list of all available TeenHelp staff positions and what each position does.

  • Project Coordinators - Coordinators, who select and maintain the TeenHelp staff members, are responsible for the upkeep of the site as a whole.

  • Operations Team Leader - Overall responsibility for many day to day functions of the site, especially our advice services including Support Forums, Chat Room, HelpLINK and Live Help.

  • Publications Team Leader - Overall responsibility for publications and communications, including our Newsletter, Articles, Resources and social networking pages.

  • Lead Moderators - Lead Moderators monitor the site as a whole for inappropriate content, and help to resolve complaints and disputes about moderating.

  • Volunteering Officer - The Volunteering Officer is responsible for the development and support of our volunteering programme.

  • Forums and Community Officer - Responsible for the Support Forums, Blogs, Social Groups, Albums and volunteers working in these areas.

  • Chat Officer - Responsible for the Chat Room, Facilitated Chat Room Discussions and volunteers working in these areas.

  • HelpLINK Officer - Responsible for HelpLINK and volunteers working in these areas.

  • Live Help Officer - Responsible for Live Help and volunteers working in these areas.

  • Newsletter Officer - The Newsletter Officer is responsible for our monthly Newsletter.

  • Articles Officer - The Articles Officer is responsible for our Articles section.

  • Resources Officer - The Resources Officer is responsible for maintaining a range of materials including the Resources page, FAQs and other information and publications.

  • Forum Moderators - Forum Moderators monitor one or several forums for inappropriate content.

  • Chat Moderators - Chat Moderators monitor the Chat Room for inappropriate content.

  • HelpLINK Moderators - HelpLINK Moderators keep the HelpLINK system organised by closing requests when appropriate.

  • Community Moderators - Community Moderators monitor the Blogs, Social Groups and Albums, for inappropriate content.

  • Newsletter Editors - Newsletter Editors are responsible for the publication of TeenHelp's monthly Newsletter.

  • Article Editors - Article Editors are responsible for the publication of TeenHelp's articles.

  • Resource Editors - Resource Editors are responsible for creating a range of materials on the site.

  • HelpLINK Mentors - HelpLINK Mentors respond to requests for advice sent to the HelpLINK system.

  • Live Help Mentors - Live Help Mentors speak to users one-on-one through the Live Help system.

  • Community Mentors - Community Mentors greet and help new members to the site, and make users feel welcome and comfortable on the Forums, Chat Room and other site areas.

To view a list of all current Staff members, please click here.

What is the TeenHelp Staff Application process?

Useful links: What are the TeenHelp Staff positions?

To apply to join the TeenHelp volunteer Staff you must (1) register an account, (2) meet the minimum volunteer requirements, (3) submit a successful application form.

(1) Register

You must be fully registered on TeenHelp before you can join the TeenHelp staff; guests can not apply. To register, click here: http://www.teenhelp.org/register.

(2) Requirements

Before you can submit a Staff Application form you must meet the minimum requirements for both registration duration and post count. The current requirements are that you must have been registered for at least one month and have posted at least twenty-five times in the Support Forums (it is not necessary that all of these are in advice-related forums). We have these requirements so that we know that you are reasonably dedicated to the site and are likely to stick around. We also use your posts to help to determine your suitability for a Staff position in addition to the answers you give on your application form.

(3) The Staff Application

Once you have met our requirements you can submit an application for one of our primary Staff positions. Applications may not always be open for all of these positions depending on our current needs. You may apply for as many of these positions as you like, but you will typically be offered one position to start with. All other positions can only be applied for internally by current members of Staff, and some of the positions are given out on merit and do not have any applications at all.

To view details of available positions or to submit an application, visit our Staff Application system here: http://www.teenhelp.org/apply. Once you are happy with your responses click submit to complete your application. Your application will then be reviewed by a number of Staff members, and you will then be sent a Private Message with the outcome of your application. This may take several weeks depending on the availability of those reviewing your application. If your application is successful you will be granted all the necessary permissions to do your duties; if you are not you will have to wait one month before you can submit a new application.


Chat Room information.

The TeenHelp Chat Room is a place for people from around the World to get together and talk to others like them. We encourage you to get to know others from the site here, help newer members feel welcomed, or give advice to anyone who comes looking for it, as well as asking for help for any problems you may be having yourself. If this is your first time using our Chat Room, here is some information that will help you get started.

Rooms

The TeenHelp Chat Room is split into two subrooms. These are:

  • Chat Lobby - The main, all-purpose room for general chat.
  • Support and Advice - A room for giving and receiving advice.

Users

On the user list, Moderators are shown at the top of the list. These people have the ability to silence, kick or ban you from the Chat Room for breaking the rules. These people are TeenHelp staff members, so if they ask you to stop doing something you should listen to them. You can also go to them if you're experiencing any problems in the Chat Room.

You can contact other Chat users through a private message by clicking on their name to bring up the user menu and selecting "Private Message". This will open a window that will let you talk to them away from the rest of the people in the Chat Room. This can be useful if you need advice for a problem and only want to talk to a certain person about it.

Discipline

Discipline will occur when the Chat Room rules are broken, and might include being silenced, kicked or banned from the Chat Room.

  • Silences - A silence prevents you from typing in the Chat Room. They are usually issued for a short period of time, probably around thirty seconds.
  • Kicks - A kick will temporarily disconnect you from the Chat Room. You may re-enter freely if you are willing to follow the rules.
  • Bans - A ban will block your access to the Chat Room for a time. A typical Chat Room ban thirty days. A Moderator should generally contact you to explain why a ban was issued.

More serious discipline (i.e. bans) will be given to users who are familiar with the Chat Room or who have been warned about inappropriate behaviour previously.

The Moderator will generally tell you either before or after silencing or kicking you exactly what you did to merit being silenced or kicked. If not, you may ask the Moderator in a polite and non-intrusive fashion. Do not argue with the Moderator about whether or not what happened was fair; if you have a problem with the Moderator's actions, please follow our Complaints Procedure here. The site's Terms of Service can be found here.

Other features

There are many other features available in the Chat Room, all of which can be explored by either clicking the buttons near the bottom of the chat room, or through clicking on a username. If there's anything you're unsure about, just ask one of the other Chat Room users to help you out.


Why can't I see anybody online in Chat?

Chat has two sections:

  • Chat Rooms - Public chat rooms for you to meet and speak with others. These can be in group rooms, but you can also start one to one conversations with others through these.
  • Chat
  • - Private conversations between friends. You will only see users under this menu if you have added one another to your friends list on the site.

Why is Live Help always offline?
Live Help is staffed by members of TeenHelp's volunteer staff. These volunteers log on when and as they are able to, around other activities in their lives, such as school, work or a social life. We are unable to prescribe hours to our staff, so cannot guarantee that Live Help will be online at any given time. Live Help applications are always open, meaning we're always looking for suitable people to staff Live Help for us. If Live Help is offline and you need advice, the Chat Room usually has people in it, and posts in the Forums often get quick responses.

The TeenHelp Glossary

Below is a compilation of definitions of specific terms you may encounter while on TeenHelp.

CoC - Code of Conduct.
DC - Disputes Committee - Replaced by our team of Project Advisors.
FCRD / FD - Facilitated Chat Room Discussion / Facilitated Discussion.
Glomp - The combination of a tackle and a hug. A large sign of affection.
HL - HelpLINK.
HLM - HelpLINK Mentor.
LH - Live Help.
LHM - Live Help Mentor. You may also see the term 'LHO' meaning Live Help Operator, an older term for this role.
“On Leave” - Referring to a Staff member who is taking a leave of absence on TeenHelp.
OP - Original Poster.
PM - Private Messaging. Please view this tutorial for details of how to use this system.
PO - Project Officer.
Pwnage (n.), To pwn (vb.), pwnd (p.p.), pwning (pr.p.); Variants: Ownage, To own, owned, owning - Usually used as an insult or interjection. A literal translation might include "To defeat" or "To win". Most commonly used in a chat room environment.
Sig. - Signature.
Spam - Spam is generally any unproductive/unnecessary content on TeenHelp. This includes random characters or words out of context, a lot of smileys, violations of the no advertising rule, topics that aren't really worth discussing, replies that aren't related to the topic they're to, and numerous other things.
Spoiler - You may see boxes of hidden texts marked with "Spoiler". This simply means that the text under the box (which can be uncovered with the "Click here" link) gives away part of the plot or other important piece of information about the movie, TV show, or book.
TH - TeenHelp.
ToS - Terms of Service.
Trashing - Trashing is a word you may hear spoken by staff. The origins of this word lie in the forum Trash Bin. This is a forum only visible by staff members, and is where all the bad topics on the forum are moved to. Trashing (vb.), therefore, is the act of moving a thread to the Trash Bin.
Triggering - Some threads will contain a "triggering" prefix either marked as such by the original poster or by a moderator. A triggering thread is one that may cause users to want to partake in unhealthy behavior. Examples of triggering material may include weight figures to someone struggling with an eating disorder or descriptions of self harm to someone attempting to recover from self harm.
Troll - A troll is someone who joins TeenHelp solely with the intent to cause trouble. They usually spam the forums or chat room with insults or distasteful images.
User CP - User Control Panel.
VM - Visitor Messaging. Please view this tutorial for details of how to use this system.

You can find definitions of many other terms commonly used on the Internet here.


I didn't get my activation email.
You can have your activation email resent to you by clicking here. If you've resent the email and still don't receive it, make sure to check your junk mail folder. If you've resent the email and still don't receive it, you might like to use a different email address. You can change your email address by clicking on User CP at the top of the page and then Edit Email and Password on the left. Some email providers don't always get email from the TeenHelp server. Failing this, you can email us at contact@teenhelp.org explaining the problem and we will manually verify your account. Your email must be sent from the same email address registered with your account and stating your username.

I lost/forgot my password. How can I reset it?
If you lost your password, click here to have it reset. You will need to be able to access the email address you registered with in order to reset your password, as the new password will be sent to that email address.

Can I change my username?

You can change your username through your User CP by clicking here. You can only change your username once every six months.

If you are having trouble changing your username it might be because: a) your username contains forbidden special characters (a list of such characters is given on the error page if you receive one), b) the username is already in use, or c) the username has recently been in use and is not yet free to be re-issued - usernames are locked for one year after a user gives it up.


Can I cancel my account?
You can find out more about deleting your account here: http://www.teenhelp.org/delete

Can I change the "Member" and "Welcome me, I'm new!" below my username?
You can change the "Member", also known as your user title, by clicking on User CP at the top of the page and then Edit Personal Info on the bar at the left. You can't change the "Welcome me, I'm new!". This is your user rank and is related to your post count. As you make more posts, this will change automatically.

Why doesn't my post count go up when I make certain posts?
Certain forums don't increase your post count, such as Chit-Chat. Your post count is only increased through posts in forums that could potentially be used for advice or productive discussion.



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