There is help. Mefi win. January 18, 2011 3:13 PM   Subscribe

Buried deep in the Bill Zeller obit thread is this (new?) gem from the Mefi Wiki: There is Help.

I'm not proposing it be sidebarred or added to the links at the bottom or anything, but good on ya to all the folks who are working on it. It's a great resource and I wanted to highlight it.

As someone who lost a sister to suicide, I particularly love how "dumb" it is. No need to focus on anything, no searching through endless data to find the right answer, it's just all there - the headings are clear, the links are dead-simple. It's really, really great. Thank you. I see it being a big help, whether to fellow Mefites or even just some desperate soul googling at 3am.

(Also, can I help? Does whoever put it together/administering it need an extra set of eyes, some help searching, whatever?)
posted by nevercalm to MetaFilter-Related at 3:13 PM (28 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

We could always use another set of eyes or hands. The trick is to make sure there is enough there without it turning into a hurdle just to get through the page. In time I think we may break it up into a few subpages [I have admin rights on the wiki and could do this] based on topic. For now, what would be really helpful is for people who have experience or interest in some of the other "I feel stuck and hopeless!" topics - domestic/child abuse, rape, alcoholism - to put together a list of some good comprehensive AskMe threads about them.

This is just my perspective, but we want to stick to the "there is danger" topics at first and then move to ones that are equally insidious [sexism and racism and homophobia and ageism and other relationship type issues] but maybe not as urgent, perhaps in a separate/related wiki location.

I would also like to thank the people who have been working on it. It's been chugging along with a few people doing big chunks of work and it's very satisfying to see it coming to fruition as something useful-seeming.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:18 PM on January 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


I've been teaching someone at my desk intermittently for the last week and a half, and having dozens of tabs open to askme's about depression, alcoholism, sexual abuse, etc., would have been problematic. But I should be able to pick up my slack again starting on Thursday.

nevercalm, if you see something that you'd like added, please feel free to do so! Or if you're unsure if it's appropriate, please add it to the discussion page! As Jessamyn explained I think we'd all just like to restrict the entry to information that will be helpful to people.
posted by zarq at 3:48 PM on January 18, 2011


Well, this is 100 pounds of awesome. I like this broad summary as a starting point, especially the note about cognitive distortions.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:19 PM on January 18, 2011


While I never came across that particular page on the wiki, I did read tons of AskMes about therapy/mental health treatment options and finally took the plunge to get the professionals involved last June. (How much help it's been so far is up in the air at this point, but that's a different problem.) So uh...yay AskMe.
posted by sperose at 4:43 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not sure if this is the place to let you know but a link there: http://www.suicide-helplines.org/ just leads to a page of gibberish to me.
posted by kanata at 4:50 PM on January 18, 2011


This one too: http://suicideandmentalhealthassociationinternational.org/Crisis.html gets a 404. Again, sorry if I should tell you somewhere else but I'm not sure how wikis work.
posted by kanata at 4:54 PM on January 18, 2011


I love this community. You are my people.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:11 PM on January 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Eh, you've never actually met us. We could all be bsatards.
posted by jonmc at 5:23 PM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm with CPB and TCG, this is all kinds of wonderful. We've dealt with depression in my wife's family, it is insidious and not easily understood by those who have never encountered it. A big thank you to everyone who contributed.
posted by arcticseal at 5:27 PM on January 18, 2011


Eh, you've never actually met us. We could all be bsatards.

Not me. I'm an asshole.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:33 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, you're not. I'm one and you're never at the meetings.
posted by jonmc at 5:34 PM on January 18, 2011


kanata, thanks. I've removed the two links that you've identified as dead. However, I'd like to note that the page is on the MetaFilter wiki — anyone who wishes to contribute is welcome create an account and begin editing.
posted by RichardP at 5:46 PM on January 18, 2011


There, there, boys- you're both assholes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:58 PM on January 18, 2011 [12 favorites]


Just want to say yay to anyone who's approached therapy thanks to AskMe...I've flogged it relentlessly because it helped me so much, but it wasn't because I was directly asked to by any AskMe questions.

It was this question which upon rereading I saw the desperation, fear, anxiety, and yes, bad grammar that had me in its thrall at the time. I recognized it wasn't me, and started seeking help.

Just saying that sometimes this community helps in more oblique ways than just the 'get therapy' refrain. And sometimes you need help other than what people recommend in a thread.
posted by sweetkid at 6:33 PM on January 18, 2011


Eh, you've never actually met us.

I have met hundreds of you and you're pretty much all great.

kanata, if you want a little primer in how to edit the wiki I'd be happy to email you some assistance, otherwise feel free to send edits to me or RicharP or zarq or Miko or Brandon Blatcher, they're the ones who I've seen making edits, there may be others.

sweetkid, thanks for letting us know, I'm glad you found something that is helpful.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:17 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


As someone with a background in mental health, I just want to add that I'm sincerely impressed by this effort. My respect to all involved.

Once in a while the definition of "community" is clear, and it happens more often here on Metafilter than it does in other areas of my life.
posted by HuronBob at 7:24 PM on January 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just when I thought this community couldn't be any more extraordinary... it's more extraordinary. Great work guys! Simple, brilliant idea, simply and beautifully executed.
posted by crossoverman at 9:02 PM on January 18, 2011


This is very cool, seriously.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:05 PM on January 18, 2011


I also wanted to say, over the years, probably half a dozen people have approached me privately through this site looking for recommendations for mental health treatment in our city. It's clear that A: there is a need for this and B: people trust this community to point them in the right direction for help. This was an excellent idea and well executed.

Now, could we please finish up the Help For Assholes wiki?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:12 PM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


MetaTalk is the Help for Assholes wiki.

sorry
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:50 PM on January 18, 2011 [16 favorites]


Just.....thank you. Thank you for doing this.
posted by Space Kitty at 1:40 AM on January 19, 2011


Of course you can help nevercalm, that's why it's a wiki! It even runs on the same software as Wikipedia, so if you know the codes there, you can use them here.
posted by IndigoRain at 2:17 AM on January 19, 2011


I'd been thinking about this after an ask me about someone needing help to get to a therapist. And people in the obit thread were talking about wanting to be there to help or offer support and all that. So if someone did want help like, "I need help making the phone calls," or "Who can I IRC with at 3am?" is that AskMe? Jobs? Don't You Have Friends In Real Life?
posted by Karmakaze at 7:18 AM on January 19, 2011


Karmakaze: "I'd been thinking about this after an ask me about someone needing help to get to a therapist. And people in the obit thread were talking about wanting to be there to help or offer support and all that. So if someone did want help like, "I need help making the phone calls," or "Who can I IRC with at 3am?" is that AskMe? Jobs? Don't You Have Friends In Real Life?"

I can't speak for anyone else. But I can tell you from personal experience that deep depression can make even simple tasks seem insurmountable. Summoning the energy to get out of bed and leave the house may feel impossible or not worth the effort.

It's can be extremely helpful to be able to have someone available who can be objective, nonjudgmental and willing to offer assistance, even with simple tasks. I didn't want my friends and family, the people I knew and respected, to think poorly of me. To think I was damaged or a bad person. So I kept what I was going through hidden from them.

By the way, this is part of why working with a therapist can be helpful. They're an outsider who is not depending on you, and don't have a personal stake in your behavior.
posted by zarq at 7:28 AM on January 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Don't You Have Friends In Real Life?

Depression can make people cut off contact with friends and family until they effectively don't have friends in real life sometimes.
posted by girih knot at 8:24 PM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah. Believe me, I know. This question earned its "stumped" tag.

My frustration from that and every failed attempt since was what fueled the question of what the protocol is for someone looking for help rather than advice. AskMe is for asking for advice... Jobs is for asking for a service... Neither seems quite right, which is where option #3 came in.
posted by Karmakaze at 8:46 PM on January 19, 2011


Karmakaze: "Don't You Have Friends In Real Life?"

My typical response to that is that all my Metafilter friends are real. Real people with real lives. And more of my Mefi friends than my in-person friends are night owls who are likely to be up when I am. You even suggested "who can I IRC with at 3am?" Sometimes with depression, just getting through the night is the hardest thing.

Besides which, with all the social networking these days, online friends often meet and become in-person friends, and in-person friends become online friends as they move away or get busier in their lives. It's all one big jumble of friends, rather than clear-cut online friends vs in-person friends.

Karmakaze: " Neither seems quite right, which is where option #3 came in."

I have successfully asked on Twitter "is anyone up for a chat on IM?" Facebook would work too. You could even Mefi Mail one of the people in the obit thread offering help.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:11 PM on January 20, 2011


I want to give a big hug to all of the MeFites who contributed to this resource, the original remembrance thread for Bill, and my post yesterday.

When I posted, I felt somewhat capable but at a complete loss. I thought about not posting, partially BECAUSE I'd noticed a bit of an uptick in "I need help" posts and thought it might fall into the pit of overly specific relationship-filter. But I remembered the reaction after Bill's death, and I went ahead. Several MeFites sent me private messages expressing support and empathy, which meant a lot -- and meant, again, that I wasn't the only one. The pressure lessened a bit.

This morning, I started thinking, "Gee, if I feel this bad, how are other people feeling?" I proposed a resource list for those feeling stressed. We're now expanding it to a multi-part media package, including faculty experts on stress, coping and the neurological causes/impacts of anxiety. I felt a sense of purpose and usefulness that I hadn't felt in a while. The pressure lessened a little more.

To give you an idea of the craziness in Madison right now, the schools are closed because 40% of the teachers called in sick. Protests have been calm but tense. But, of course, there's no way to tell what will happen, either with the bill as is or if something actually changes. Sure, it could be much worse (I mean, I'm in the land of tear gas and student riots) but for someone who's never experienced anything like this, the uncertainty has things at a fever pitch.

Still, these threads helped me channel my own anxiety into it might help others. I feel really, really good that Bill's experience, however sad, reminds me to reach out when I feel like I'm on my own... because I'm really, really not.
posted by Madamina at 12:40 PM on February 16, 2011


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