This is copied from another forum that probably isn't too different from our own. Please read it and try to understand.
If someone was to take something from here the wrong way....
Responsibility can be a bitch sometimes.
I will help with whatever I can through PM's but I am not a trained psychologist or a counsellor. I can't accurately predict when someone is over the edge from what I see here and I do not want to have to answer to anyones family or loved ones in the event that anything I or someone else says or does triggers something or delays real help.
Originally posted by http://newff.playphoria.com/bestof/2001/tsf.html
The Suicide Forum
Author: Kefka (Trevor McLoughlin)
(Original date of incident: Fall, 2001)
If there is one thing the New Final Fantasy community has always prided itself on, it would be our ridiculously helpful and friendly members.* I'm not sure how it happened that we ended up so damn nice, but there is really no one person to blame for that.* It must be some sort of aura the early members exuded.* Early members like Chad "Gades" Wallace probably helped, who went on to become a forum administrator, and still hangs around, beating up on trouble makers and handing out free cookies to nice newbies.* We were a friendly bunch.
I'm not sure if our friendliness was the reason or not, but in the later months of 2001, we found our community ranks included a fair number of people who needed help.* I'm sure a good number of them were probably just fucking around with us, and really didn't want to kill themselves, but some may very well have wanted to.* None of this was out in the open, but those who were deeper into the community, who instant messaged other members regularly and hung out in chat, knew something was afoot.* A handful of community dwellers, a prominent member of their group going by the moniker "Id", were talking with some of the supposedly suicidal members at the time, trying to be helpful, as our community members tend to be.
In my mind, the purpose of the New Final Fantasy community has always been as a place to discuss videogames and other interests.* People chat, get to know each other, and waste a lot of time having harmless fun.* The more involved members usually let shades of their "real world" lives come in, and talk a bit about school or work or whatever.* It isn't so uncommon to see a bunch of people in the chat room discussing the complexities of dating, or the dangers/pleasures of drug-use.* Everything is open for discussion, basically, but it's all supposed to be fairly light-hearted.
Id and some other members came up with this idea for a "Help Forum", which eventually was nicknamed the "Suicide Forum", in a rather derogatory way, by some people.* What they wanted was a section of the New Final Fantasy public forums devoted to helping community users with their very serious, non-videogame-related problems.* I opposed the idea, and refused to make the forum for them.
And then began all the trouble.* The forums were buggy, the site was almost ready for major downtime (which turned into a merger, but that's another story), and people were stressed in general.* The people in favour of the Suicide Forum (we'll call them the pro-forum crowd) started getting pretty militant.* It wasn't uncommon for me to get called such things as "heartless" (for a mild example) from the pro-forumers.* They thought that it was some sort of divine law that this forum exist.* I should probably explain why I didn't want it, in that case.
You see, I'm all for helping people, but there are lines.* We were a website dedicated to videogames and discussing said videogames, at our core.* Sure, the girls in chat will probably help you find a present for your mom's birthday, and stuff like that, but if you come to us saying you're going to cut your wrists, you've come to the wrong place.* There are specific places in the real, non-online world, where you can get real help.* We can only do so much.* To have created the Suicide Forum would have done three things.* Firstly, it would have encouraged those who were merely trying to get attention (as some were just out for attention).* Secondly, it would have told the people who actually had a problem that they were doing the right thing by hiding out online and not getting real help.* Thirdly, it would have frightened away new and then current members.* Most people didn't come to our site to read about killing themselves, and probably would not have appreciated what the pro-forum kids were out to set up.
In the staff forums, I told everyone specifically my views on the subject, and that there would be no "Help Forum".* I made it clear that it was official site policy to bring the whole thing to an end.* When some of our very own staff members continued to support the pro-forumers well-intended but ridiculous notions, I displayed what has historically been one of my few moments of "anger".* When long-time staff member "Krai2" threatened to take (and I quote) "200" community members with him on some sort of rebellious self-imposed exile, I was forced to "scream" at my staffers for one of the first times ever in the history of the site.* Needless to say, Krai2 and similarly annoying staff members did not remain "employed" for much longer.
I included this little retrospective/rant in this feature because I felt it demonstrated the level of involvement this site inspired -- be it positive or negative.* The Suicide Forum never came to be... and nobody killed themselves.* But it certainly says something about this website, if people came here genuinely seeking help, even if it wasn't the best place to come to.