About ForLikeMinds

What is your mission?
  • ForLikeMinds is dedicated to the recovery and wellness of people living with or supporting someone with mental illness, substance use, or a stressful life event. We empower members to connect and engage in relatable micro-communities of people with similar backgrounds and experiences. This journey starts with hope and is nourished by the support of like minds sharing their lived experience.
How is ForLikeMinds different from other online mental health and substance use support networks?
  • Our approach is innovative and highly attuned to the experiences and needs of those affected by conditions and stressful life events. That is because of our own experience. Unlike most mental health startup entrepreneurs, our founder has a mental health condition, which she has disclosed. She was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, including major depressive disorder, over 15 years ago. Her family has supported her through extreme ups and downs.
  • Our own mental health experiences have led us to build a platform that differs in important ways from other online mental health and substance use applications, including:
    • Focus on mental health conditions - Several websites allow users to connect with people across all types of medical conditions. We think mental health should have its own community platform given the sheer magnitude of people who experience a mental health issue every year.
    • Recognize interconnections between conditions and events.
      1. We understand that mental health and substance use conditions often co-occur. We provide a place for those conditions to be discussed individually or together.
      2. We recognize the importance of stressful life events and their connections to a wide range of mental health and substance use conditions.
      3. We believe that it is valuable to allow members to address these issues in combination or individually, which is how we’ve built our platform.
    • Focus on shared lived experience – Our founder was inspired in her own recovery by the recovery examples and efforts of others. Further, when our founder started taking ownership of her condition, she found that peer support had tremendous untapped potential to help so many people beyond her. Our personal backgrounds significantly influence the onset, treatment, and overall experience of our mental health. We, therefore, built ForLikeMinds to allow members to connect based on shared backgrounds and experience.
    • Focus on recovery and wellness – Our platform is founded on the potential to achieve recovery and wellness and to live life fully while managing a condition or stressful life event. The shared experience of others in similar situations provides hope, insights, and practical guidance to overcome stigma, self-empower, and achieve recovery.
    • A place for supporters too - We are the first dedicated mental health platform to serve interests of both people living with or supporting someone with a condition. No other online destination is tailored specifically to the needs of supporters. We embrace and acknowledge the important role supporters play in the recovery and well-being of their loved ones. Often overlooked is the importance of self-care and well-being of supporters while they care for their loved ones. We allow supporters to find and engage with other supporters to benefit from peer-based examples to help loved ones and themselves.

Member Profiles and Information

Why can’t I see groups or individuals when I visit the home page?
  • Unlike other platforms, we do not make our member or group profiles or their communications available to non-members. In order to find and communicate with members one-on-one and in groups, members must create a profile. In this way, we prevent member content from appearing in browser searches. We’ve done this to prioritize member privacy, incentivize member participation, and discourage lurkers. Note that if you join a group, you can always leave the group.
How do I get started?
  • Create an account and complete your profile. You can always edit your profile at any time or add information in the future.
  • Once you’ve completed your profile, you can find and engage with other members with similar backgrounds in one-on-one and group discussions. You can join existing groups or create your own.
What information do I provide?
  • You provide information about yourself or the person you support if you register as a supporter. This information includes conditions or events affecting you or the person you support as well as your personal background.
  • All this information is optional, and you can complete as much or little of the profile as you like. However, providing more information should create a better user experience as discussed below.
Why should I share my information?
  • Your experience should be richer if you provide more information since it will make it easier to find groups and individuals with similar backgrounds and experiences. Providing more personal details should allow you to make more relatable connections with other members and provide more flexibility when searching for members or groups.
What are Tags?
  • Tags are the individual details that you complete in your member profile. They are used by you and other members to easily find and create groups and find members that match Tags in your profile. When another member searches using their Tags, and any of those Tags match those in your profile, you will be shown in their search results too.
  • Tags include age, location, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity and race, language, religion, education, profession, student status, and military status. For example, students can connect based on level of study and college/university. The military community connects based on service period, branch, deployment and combat history, and any exposure to military sexual trauma.
How do you use my information?
  • We use your information, or Tags, to connect you with other members and groups on our platform with common backgrounds or interests. That’s the key way members find other members and groups with similar backgrounds for one-one-one and group discussions on ForLikeMinds.
  • We don’t share your information with outside parties.
Who gets to see my information and how much will they be able to see?
  • You can remain anonymous. We suggest that you make your username non-identifying. Other members can only see the userid that you create, your bio, your profile photo, and your activity in groups. No member can see all of your completed details, or Tags. However, you will show up in search results for other members if any Tag they search matches your profile.
How do you protect my information?
  • Privacy is a top priority for us. We know how important privacy is firsthand. We do not use or share your information with outside parties. We recognize that stigma may make it difficult to identify yourself as affected by mental illness, substance use, or a stressful life event. We therefore have built ForLikeMinds to allow for completely anonymous interactions. You are identified to other members by the username you create, which we suggest you make non-identifying. No other members see your complete profile. The content of group and one-on-one discussions is only available to members of the groups and parties to those private messages. These discussions are not accessible to non-members.
  • Security is a top concern. Our website’s infrastructure is provided by Heroku and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Both companies offer industry-leading security. More information is available at Heroku and AWS Cloud Compliance
How do I format my profile picture?
  • Profile images are best displayed in square format. You can easily crop a photo into a square size and resize it online at: http://www.picresize.com/.

About Groups

How do I create a Group?
  • Creating a group is easy. Go to the Find Groups section. Select the Create Group button. Follow step by step instructions. You will start by picking Tags from among Tags in your profile that you would like to identify the nature of the group. These Tags will be used to match your group with members searches that use the same Tags. You will also give your group a name and short description to communicate the focus and goals for the group.
What is a Group Leader?
  • Like other major social networking platforms, we allow individuals to create and lead their own groups. They are Group Leaders. We provide them principles and tools to enrich the group experience and address undesirable behaviors. We feel that groups should be able to effectively self-govern with the help of these resources. This approach also enhances empowerment, relatability, closeness, and cultural sensitivity within the group.
Why do Groups have Tags?
  • When a Group Leader creates a group, they identify that group with Tags from their own profile that they want to describe the group. A Group Leader cannot create a group with Tags that do not appear in their member profile.
  • In this way, a group has an identify like an individual member, using the same universe of Tags. We have used Tags to try to facilitate the creation of and search for groups that are relatable to members.
How is unwanted group behavior addressed?
  • We have worked hard to provide members with controls to manage their experience and interactions with other members.
  • Group Leaders are able to block group members and delete topics and individual posts that they consider inappropriate.
  • Group members can mute individual group members, so they cannot see the contents of topics and posts created by the muted member. They can also mute individual topics so they cannot see posts within that topic. If a group member mutes another group member, they will also no longer be able to exchange private messages (receive or send) with muted group member. If someone mutes a member in private messages, that muted member will also be muted from the muting member’s group messages.
I am a member of a group. Why can I no longer open, respond to, or create topics in the group?
  • You were most likely blocked from the group by the Group Leader. We allow Group Leaders to block group members in order to prevent or address unwanted behavior.

Searches

How do I search for groups?
  • Go to Find Groups. Go to the search bar. You can search one of two ways: (1) pick from the Tags that appear when you click in the search box. These are the completed Tags in your profile. Select the Tags that you want to find in existing groups that might interest you or (2) enter keywords. Keyword searches pull up groups that have the keywords in their Tags, descriptions, or existing topics.
How do I search for other members?
  • Go to Find Individuals. Go to the search bar. Pick from the Tags that appear when you click in the search box. These are the completed Tags in your profile. Select the Tags that you want to find in other member profiles.

Notifications

How do notifications work?
  • You can receive notifications to your personal email when there is activity in your groups and your private message inbox.
  • Within your personal dashboard, you can access your Notification Settings section to incorporate your preferences, as discussed below.
  • To receive notifications for a new group post, you must:
    • Belong to the group
    • Follow the topic in which posts are made. You follow a topic by:
      1. Creating the topic, or
      2. Selecting “Follow all new topics – by email” either in Global Settings or in group-specific Message Board Settings in Notification Settings section, or
      3. Individually choosing to follow the topic in the specific topic dashboard. Note that you can always unfollow a topic.
  • Select “Notifications for followed topics - by email” in Global Settings and in group-specific Message Board Settings in Notification Settings section.
  • Not be blocked from the group.
  • To receive notifications for private messages, select “Notifications for Private Messages – by email” in Global Settings in Notifications Settings section. You will receive notifications for all your private messages.

Membership

Do I have to pay?
  • No, ForLikeMinds does not charge for its current services.
Are there age restrictions?
  • ForLikeMinds is for adults that are 18 years or older.
Are you a non-profit?
  • No, we concluded that the for-profit model works best for our community and longer-term success of ForLikeMinds.
Are there partnership opportunities?
  • We welcome the opportunity to partner with other organizations and entities, especially NGOs and academic institutions that share our recovery and wellness mission.
What are your plans growing the organization?
  • This is just the beginning. We have many ideas on how to further address recovery and wellness needs through our platform.
Can I cancel my account?
  • Yes, you can cancel your account through your member profile.

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