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About the Forums

What are the ReachOut Forums?

ReachOut launched the Forum in May 2012 for youth (13-24 years) going through tough times. Like the rest of ReachOut.com, the forums are a safe, anonymous online space where teens and young adults can go for immediate support and information free of judgment. The online community is very active and extremely welcoming. You'll also see that the posts there vary a lot - sometimes people come to play games or hang out online, and more often people will come to the Forums when they're going through a tough time to share their story, discuss a problem or to directly reach out for help and support. Interested? 

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The Forums aren’t a replacement for professional counseling or crisis services. If you, or someone you know, is at risk, or you want to talk to someone now, click here.

What You Can Expect? Read On...

Forum screenshotYou can expect total anonymity, a safe online space without judgement and a warm welcome! Whether you're looking for to vent, seek support for a problem or just hang out, there's place in the Forums for you!

Some of the cool features you'll see:

  • Ask the Expert is a monthly feature where we have a mental health expert taking your Qs around a certain topic
  • Comment of the Week where we put awesome ReachOut contributors in the spotlight
  • Just chillin for general chit chat and posting about whatever...

You might also notice some content around serious issues such as self-harm or suicide thoughts. We recognize that can feel shocking but please know the content is moderated 24/7, and any Forum member deemed at risk will be contacted directly outside of the forums and offered further support. In these cases you will also see a reply from our moderators offering immediate support through youth helpline Your Life Your Voice at 1-800-448-3000, run by Boys Town (for everyone)..

How do I Get Started?

You can view the forums anytime, but if you want to post, you'll need to register first, which only takes a few minutes. Because the forums are pre-moderated, your response may take a little time to show up, so please bear that in mind. 

To get started, dive in and have a look around. When you're ready, introduce yourself and watch a few intro videos to get to know your way around. Then, post away to your heart's content and reply to other users who you relate to or need support.

Not sure about the do's, dont's and forum etiquette? Find out more about our Forum community guidelines here.

Who runs the Forums?

The forums are pre-moderated by a team of professionals 24/7. We also have a team of 55 caring young volunteers, known as Peer Supporters, who proactively respond to posts, ensuring most forum members receive a helpful or supportive response to their posting. Like our stories and factsheets, the forums are youth driven, which is a core value of ReachOut.

Does it really help to post in the Forums?

We can answer "Yes!". These are just some of the testimonials posted by forum Members:

"Thank you its just really helpful!! and if it means anything u saved a life today"

"Sometimes my life feels like it's falling apart cuz of all the crap I have to go through, but I found this site for support and it's absolutely amazing!"

"Thank you guys, I always feel so much better after talking with everyone on the site, I usually feel really anxious after posting or telling people how I feel. I don't really know why. I guess I am afraid of looking weak? But I always feel so welcomed here and you all make me feel so much better"

"A friend recently told me, that if I think positively and just surround myself with positive thoughts, things will turn out great. Now I know that sounds kinda corny, but in a way it's true. I figured that by being negative and thinking of negative things wasn't really helping me much and I didn't gain anything because once you're down the only thing that you can do is go up from there."

Why do the Forums Work?

Along with providing a positive outlet for difficult feelings and a safe space to receive support, the Forums are a great tool for helping to improve mental health, by reducing stigma and promoting health-seeking behavior. Young people live and connect online, they can login anytime of day or night and post anonymously with an extremely quick response. In addition to hearing positive feedback from you, research also supports the value of the forums. According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, 75% of youth feel empowered accessing health information online and 25% seek information specifically around mental health.

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