It has been noticed recently that the number of posts in this forum has gone up a lot. Not just this but the majority are asking "General Medical Questions" or the same questions pretty much asked in a different way. This puts a lot of extra work on the team and we're already a small team who have very busy lives and RYL cannot be our top priority. We also are only volunteers here and so get no benefit from really for being on the FA Team.
The forum was originally built just for questions relating significantly to Self Harm, Disordered Eating Behaviour, Overdoses and maybe other mental health related things in line with the main ethos of RYL. We were not made to answer general medical questions and when the forum was first created a couple of years ago these were banned.
It's getting to the point now where almost all of the questions are General Medical Questions and wanting specific answers. There is a limited amount we can do online and a large proportion of these need seeing to by a doctor. Really we are not obliged to answer these (or any other) questions and are also often not the best tool for you to use or rely on; there's much better things for everyone.
Also, when it comes to SI/ EDs, many of the threads are regarding the same or very similar subject matter so a quick search of the forum will save time for everyone; often in the first few pages you will find your answer. Not only this but as a team we have created several different articles
which took time to create and these should also be read before asking a question as often what is written in them is repeated in the threads. Please can people take the time to make a quick search before they post in the majority of cases.
Also, it is much quicker in almost every case for a user who has OD'd to PM one or several of the FAAs directly rather than making a thread asking who to PM. We often see that we have an email and then come on RYL to check our PMs whereas we often don't check the forum as much so it is much quicker; as well as that; if you PM a question to several of us make that obvious so you don't get multiple replies the same.
One the forum there are several links to FA sites, one of the best is the NHS Direct site and that is in simple accurate English which will help and you can search via symptom. Also, if you want to ask a medical question then try and work out what you will benefit from posting on FAF and state this and the whole problem in your post with as much information as possible. We are only here to advise you in terms of general medical questions on where to go next in terms of whether you need to see a doctor/ nurse and whether or not this is necessary; not as a replacement for this which it has becoming increasingly obvious that this is what some are aiming for. As well as this, the UK has the NHS Direct, most of Australia has a Health Care hotline, details and numbers of which are in a sticky in the forum and elsewhere has a poisons control line if you have ODd and no-one gets back to you straight away and this can often be much more helpful. As well as that; we are NOT here to diagnose and if that's what you want or you're wondering if you're on the wrong meds then your doctor is the only one that can answer after examining you.
So, what I'm saying is can people please search through threads/ articles a bit first before asking questions and see what they want. With general medical questions if people don't want very quick simple advice or want to know whether or not to go to the doctors then really the place to go is to see someone in real life.
I also wanted to note that can people try and pick labels appropriately.
People should presume that the forum is all triggering unless *Safe* has been in front of the title.
*General Medical Question* whether urgent or urgent are things not to do with SI/ODs/ EDs and if you feel a problem is urgent but comes under the heading of SI/OD? ED then use those labels and put *urgent* or similar in the title.
*Wound Care Advice* should be used when wanting adivce about any wounds you have. If you've already sought medical help for them and are not sure about the aftercare then it should be the people who saw it first that should be contacted.
*Eating Disorder Question* is for a thread that you think the problem may be related to any disordered eating pattern or anything to do with binging/ purging even if you personally don't class it as an ED
*Overdose Question* Is therefore used for Overdoses and often these are best left to contact an FAA privately anyway.
These labels are used by the team to prioritise which order we look at the threads; it's not based on which has been there the longest and so using them wisely can help us a LOT.
Finally, I just wanted to point out that this may also be a good time to point out that the FAF does have it's own rules above the ones set out by the whole of RYL which should always be adhered to. They are all there for a reason and so familiarising yourself with them every now and again would be worthwhile.
Sorry if this sounds like a bit of a lecture, it just seems a lot of recurrent themes have come up recently, a lot of people have been incorrectly using the labels and we have found an overall rise in the number of threads requesting advise of a "General Medical" nature and the amount of detail they want to get from that; there is very little that can be done over the net and so that has to be taken into account and we are not here to diagnose people; just to direct them on what help they should get really if they are unsure.
I hope this all makes sense and feel free to ask any questions here or via PM to myself or one of the other FAAs if you are unsure of anything
. I would also be greatful if this could be kept bumped for the meanwhile too.
Thanks for reading and I hope all users take this on board to make the lives of all easier and it would be worthwhile for EVERYONE to familiarise themselves with the articles we have as you never know when they may be needed.
First Aid Advisor
I'd also like to point out a new update to this here
due to things that are bothering members as a whole and can be quite dangerous to the community if certain behaviour patterns continue.