Taking part in a Facebook challenge is a really positive way of showing your support for Samaritans.
Below are a few top tips to help you participate and post in the group in a way that is safe for you and other people.
Tips for participating safely
In the group
We trust everyone in the group to participate in a way that is safe and enjoyable for all. There may be times when, intentionally or unintentionally, some of the content posted could be harmful, challenging or cause distress to members of the group. We have a number of safeguarding measures in place to help us minimise the impact of any such content as quickly as possible.
You can also help alert us to any harmful content or someone you feel may be struggling, by reporting any posts or comments to us through Facebook. This is the fastest way to help keep everyone safe.
Read what to do if you see worrying content online
As part of posting responsibly, you might wish to consider adding a 'content warning' at the top of your post if you are sharing something which you think others may find difficult. This can be particularly helpful for people who have lived experience of suicide or difficulties with their mental health.
For example – ‘Content warning: mentions of eating disorder and suicide’
For everyone's safety and to promote talking about suicide safely, we will never allow:
- Suicide methods and locations
- Self-harm methods or graphic descriptions or images
- Graphic descriptions of violence, abuse, sexual assault, hate crimes etc.
You can read more about how to talk about suicide safely online here.
Take care of yourself
The groups are a positive space to support and connect with each other through the challenge, but it can still be difficult to read stories and experiences of suicide and mental health. Participate as much as you feel comfortable, and it’s okay to take a break from the group if you need to. If you ever need to take a break, you can unfollow at any time, by clicking the three dots at the top of the page to stop posts appearing in your newsfeed, but still remain part of the group, so you can visit the group as you wish.
Remember - Facebook is a 'public' online space
Whilst our groups are private, they are made up of lots of people who are strangers. For this reason, please treat the group as a public space and only post things you would be comfortable sharing with the wider world.
Be responsible with your privacy
Being part of this group requires mutual trust. What’s shared by other members of the group should stay in the group. For your own wellbeing, please also be responsible with your own privacy and refrain from sharing personal contact details and specific locations.
We recommend that you are mindful when sharing information about your location and walking routes and utilise any in-built privacy settings in your chosen activity-tracking app or device. When talking about location, generalisations such as referring to the county or area of the country you are in rather than a specific location can be helpful.
Keep it in the group
We recommend that you keep any conversations and interactions with other group members, within the group. We recommend that you don’t meet or share personal information with other group members.
Out and about
Let others know
If you are participating alone, we recommend that you let a friend or family member know where you are going and how long you intend to be. Better still, you can also invite your friends and family to join you in your activity for some additional moral support.
While taking part we suggest that you carry a mobile phone if you feel it is safe to do so. We also recommend that you carry the details of someone to contact in case of an emergency.
Plan your routes
We recommend that you plan your routes in advance and take all possible precautions to help minimise the risk of slips, trips or falls. You may also wish to consider varying your routes and the time you do your activity, particularly if you are participating alone.
Put your health first
Only take part in the challenge if you feel fit and well enough to do so. This is a flexible, personal challenge that can always be adjusted or extended if you need to.
Dress according to the weather conditions and time of day. Check local weather conditions before setting off. Protect yourself from extremes of weather conditions, ensuring you wear suncream or bring a waterproof with you to keep you warm and dry if necessary. Always wear sensible footwear for the activity you are taking part in. If you are participating at dusk or late in the evening, consider doing so in well-lit areas and wearing high-visibility clothing and lights.
Everyone will be participating in their own way, with varying levels of exertion. Ensure you are suitably hydrated for your activity and carry suitable hydration with you if necessary.
If you are participating on public roads, always follow the highway code and abide by any access restrictions. Consider the impact that wearing headphones may have on your awareness of your surroundings.