Welcome to The Village. This is a chatroom support community for those whose lives are touched by mental illness. All mental illness diagnoses are welcome. Most of the members have schizophrenia-type disorders. This is a community for adults (18+) only, both in age and behavior. Childish acting out is not welcome.
NOTE: If you or someone you care about needs help of an urgent nature, please contact emergency services in your area. There are also some helpful services available as listed on our Resources page.
The Village is centered around the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) chatroom called #thevillage. That’s why we’re also known as The IRC Village. You’ll find conversation about mental illness as well as random life subjects because we’re people, not just patients. If we happen to be talking about pizza or something else mundane and you have a mental health question, just pop your interest into the room. That’s what we’re here for and most likely people will dogpile on to chat with you.
Mental illness affects everyone in the life of the person with the illness. Our community includes some family and friends. Naturally we are primarily made up of people who are dealing with a personal mental illness diagnosis. It’s amazing what can happen when you see someone dealing with what you’re dealing with, feel the same emotions they describe. Support doesn’t require that, of course, but it sure can be mutually beneficial when a contact is made and conversation is carried on.
That said, this is where I get redundant in case people are skimming and missed it the first time: We are not medical professionals. We cannot provide you with a diagnosis, with medical advice, or replace your provider. Many of us have a good deal of experience with meds and symptoms and everyone has a different degree to which they’ll share about it. We have a generally very open group, so questions get asked innocently. If you ever feel you don’t want to answer a question, just say so. You don’t have to explain why. It’s cool. Please note: before taking any advice, especially regarding meds, please contact a physician or another provider. Not everyone realizes they’re not a doctor.
It’s okay to talk about feeling very depressed and low and share ideas and advice but please refrain from posting suicide threats in the chatroom.
These are a handful of abbreviations commonly used in conversation in the chatroom. If you have any confusion about abbreviations not listed here, just ask in the chatroom.
- MI: mental illness
- MH: mental health
- SZ: schizophrenia
- SZA: schizoaffective disorder
- BP: bipolar disorder
- BPD: borderline personality disorder
- DX: diagnosis
- TX: treatment
- SI/SH: Self-injury / Self-Harm
- AP: Antipsychotic medication
- AD: Antidepressant medication
- PDOC: psychiatrist
- PM: private message
- AFK: Away from keyboard
We like to think of The Village as a comfortable place to hang out and a good source of supportive chat when needed. Please use your common sense about courtesy and boundaries when chatting. Generally speaking, that’ll make for a good chat experience for you and for the others in the room. Ops are available to help smooth that process along.
If the need arises to point someone in the direction of a list of rules, we have what follows. Some people want or need things spelled out. If you’re one of them, please enjoy the following.
CODE OF CONDUCT / RULES
Please be aware that this is not an all inclusive list. Circumstances may arise that require action on the part of the ops/mods of the room. Action taken is at their discretion. If you are asked by an op to stop doing something or to change the topic, etc., and you continue the behavior, you are showing us you choose to accept any consequences an op deems are appropriate.
- You must be age 18 or over to join the chatroom. We ask for people to be adults in age as well as behavior.
- You must choose an appropriate nickname. That nickname is to be used whenever present in the chatroom. Nick changes are not allowed. This helps reduce paranoia.
- Please do not “asl” or look to make a hookup. This is not a pick up room.
- Please be civil and supportive.
- This is an English speaking community. We don’t mind the occasional phrase here or there, but conversing extensively in a language only a few people in the room understand is considered rude and disrespectful. We understand if your English skills are limited and will try to help however possible so you can contribute.
- As mentioned above, it’s understood there will be chatters who are extremely depressed/anxious, but this chatroom is not the place to post suicide threats or graphic talk of self-injury/self-harm. Please go to our Resources page and use one of the services provided for your area. Talk of suicide in general can be triggering to many, so we ask if you want to discuss it, even from an academic standpoint, you create a room and talk there, not in #thevillage. Ask for help if you need setting this up. (Please note: this includes all self-harm/self-injury talk.)
- If you wish to speak in private (PM for private message), you must ask that person first in the main chatroom. Please do not PM to get permission. The exception to this is when you need help with a situation in the room – you may PM an active op at any time. Asking first is, of course, always appreciated just in case the op is afk.
- Please be aware of server MelloChat’s rules and regulations. Click here to see MelloChat’s rules page. Failure to comply will result in being banned not only from the chatroom, but from the entire server. This includes mentioning another chat server, in which case the server ban is automated and immediate.
- The Village is an international chatroom. People from all over the world participate. Insulting or speaking in a negative way about a country, culture, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, etc., will result in an op taking action.
- The use and abuse of recreational drugs and alcohol is a triggering topic. Please be aware many of our members are in recovery. There may be times someone asks for a change of topic. Any excessive talk on the subject is a problem. Generally speaking, talking about recovery is fine. Talking about drugs or excessive use of alcohol is not.
- As this is a mental health support chat, we try to discourage too much chat of a sexual nature. Please keep in mind many of our chatters are survivors of sexual abuse and as such, comments like that can be triggering. As with all matters, we look to keep #thevillage a safe space for mentally ill folks to come chat.
- Specifically: sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Along that same vein, sexual and otherwise inappropriate comments will not be tolerated. We are all mature adults and can refrain from that type of behavior. Please do not put the ops in the position of reinforcing that.
- Profanity, while not encouraged, is allowed as long as it is not excessive.
- Spamming is not permitted and will result in an op and/or the server taking action.
- Pornography will not be tolerated in any format. Do not link to inappropriate materials.
- Please do not talk about a chatter in the community who is not present.
- Trolling / instigation / provocation: Do not start a conversation or bring up a topic merely to start a fight. While we don’t mind debates, provoking or instigating others will result in swift action. If you feel someone is trying to start something of this nature with you, please bring it to the attention of an op. You may always pm an op. Make sure s/he is active at the time.
- Certain topics, such as but not limited to violence and abuse, are triggering for many chatters and will not be tolerated when inappropriate.
- Ban evasions will result in an automatic two week extension of the ban, no matter how long the ban was originally.
- We tolerate a certain amount of idling in channel, but extensive idles are kicked from channel to keep a lid on the paranoia problem. (It may look like a ban. That’s to prevent auto-rejoins in scripts. I assure you that you will not be banned for idling.) Please do rejoin the channel when you’re able to chat.
Ops take action as they deem appropriate for any situation. Please do not nag at, hassle, insult, or in any other fashion behave rudely to an op if you disagree with the action taken. This will result in further action.
Generally speaking, the first action taken with a chatter out of line is a mute, meaning the chatter’s posts will not appear in the main chatroom’s flow of conversation. Warnings are usually given prior to muting. The duration of the muting will depend on the op’s discretion.
If you are banned, you surely will have been warned first except in extreme circumstances if only by virtue of a recent muting and/or previous bans. Initial bans usually last a matter of days. Those chatters whose behavior warrants repeated bans will have a longer ban imposed each time one is applied, generally twice as long as the previous ban.
While you are muted or banned, please be aware that nagging the ops in PM will only lengthen the time. Rude or hostile PMs during a muting may result in a ban without further warning. Any PMs, Skype messages, Facebook messages, or the use of someone as a go-between during the time period of your mute or ban will result in a longer ban. The go-between may also face a ban.
- If you want to know more about the chatroom, please watch this brief orientation video which should give you all the information you need to start chatting with us.