1. Why the name Project Beyond Blue / Project Hope & Beyond?
The original name of the community, “Project Beyond Blue,” came from Therese Borchard’s blog, “Beyond Blue,” that ran on Beliefnet.com for seven years. A few months after the blog launched in 2007, she created “Group Beyond Blue” on Beliefnet’s community site that was a dynamic support group of 2,000 members. In May 2014, Therese resurrected the group on Facebook. She didn’t want to use the name “Group Beyond Blue” for this site because it will eventually offer much more than just the community.
In March 2016, due to an intellectual property claim about the name, we solicited the community for new name suggestions. We received hundreds of wonderful, thoughtful ideas and settled upon Project Hope & Beyond (PHB) as our new name.
2. What is Psych Central Community Connection?
Psych Central Community Connection is the nonprofit founded and run by the folks who also founded Psych Central, the Internet's largest and oldest mental health network. In 2015, Psych Central Community Connection adopted Project Beyond Blue among the programs that the nonprofit runs because Beyond Blue Foundation, which ran Project Beyond Blue for its first year, dissolved.
3. Why did the group separate from Facebook?
Project Hope & Beyond grew out of a Facebook support group, Group Beyond Blue. When its members numbered over 2,000 people, the amount of posts published became overwhelming for some folks. It was impossible to stay tuned into one person’s story because reading through just one day’s posts could take hours. It had lost the small, intimate feel that several members had grown to love. Because Facebook doesn’t allow for the creation of small groups within a group, PHB Founder Therese Borchard looked at other social networking programs that have that capability. Ning seemed to be the closest platform to Facebook. Also, many members had reservations about participating in a Facebook group because of privacy concerns. While a “closed” group in theory means that no one outside the group can read content, there have been situations where a post will wind up on someone’s newsfeed. And, short of going to a “private group” (which no one can find) there is no way you can prohibit people to see who is a member of a Facebook closed group. So there were issues there, too.
4. How private is the community? Can what I write be read by anyone who is not a member?
Project Hope & Beyond is a private community, so no one who is not a member of the group is able to see your posts, or even that you belong to this community. Your privacy is important to us. The administrators will ask members if they can feature their posts (either on the Member Blog or Member Forum) which means their name and a few sentences would be public; however, they will never do so without prior approval by the member. We do not share any of the personally identifiable information you voluntarily provide to us with any third-party for any reason whatsoever. We would do so only if we were legally obligated to do so, and then we’d notify you if that was the case. (We’ve never had to do so yet.)
Like every website online, we collect information about your browsing our site (but not in a personally-identifiable way). Such information is aggregated for statistical analyses (e.g., what are our most popular pages). Also, you should be aware that we allow Google and other search engines to index our community, in order to help others who are searching for a safe and supportive online self-help support community for mental health issues find us.
5. Is there a membership fee?
No! Membership is free. We do have hosting and maintenance fees, so if you can contribute a few dollars here and there, that is always appreciated!
6. Is the community run by mental health professionals?
No. This is very important to know. Project Beyond Blue is NOT operated by a mental health professional and SHOULD NOT replace professional help. It is a peer group meant to offer peer support, which is very different from a support group run by a therapist
As is stated in the Community Guidelines, Project Beyond Blue is not a suicide or crisis hotline. Please contact a counselor, family member, friend, or emergency services if you are having suicidal thoughts.
In the USA, call:
Or visit the National Suicide Prevention Hotline:
For international telephone numbers and suicide resources, visit:
For Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and People with Speech Disabilities who use a TTY, call:
- 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)
7. Who are the administrators and how do I contact one?
Please feel free to contact any of the administrators if you need assistance or have questions or concerns regarding specific posts. You can send them a private message (click on the envelope at the right corner of your screen) or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Administrators have the capability to delete posts and manipulate aspects of the site. They are the general managers of the community. Refusing to cooperate with the request or directive of an administrator may result in your suspension from the community.
8. Is there a lot of God talk? Is the community religious?
Project Beyond Blue is not a religious community; however, it did evolve from a community on Beliefnet.com, a spirituality site. Therefore, many of the members have a heightened sense of spirituality or faith. Their faith has been an important part of their recovery from depression. Because there is a “Faith & Spirituality” group within the site, most of the religious language will be contained there; however, faith talk will emerge from time to time. Our recommendation is that you ignore it and move on to a thread not dabbling in religious content. Or, if you’d like, you could form a “Secular Depression Group” within the site, where there will be no faith talk whatsoever. The Community Rules stipulates that members interact with each other with respect. That is especially true when it comes to the topic of religion and faith expression.
9. Are there rules?
Yes. You can find the Community Guidelines here.
10. Who owns what I write here?
You do! Each author is the sole owner of his or her own posts. No one is allowed to reproduce your post under U.S. copyright provisions unless you give explicit permission for them to do so, or they are making use of part of your post under the 'fair use' provisions of copyright case law. You give Project Beyond Blue a license to reproduce your post on our site, as per our Terms of Service.
11. Can I post other people's images and photos I found on the Internet here?
Generally, photographs and images on other sites are copyrighted and cannot be used in the forums without the express permission of the author. Please do not post images or photos from other websites without first obtaining the author's permission. Any such copyrighted material will be removed without notice.
12. Why do people talk about sneezing?
The “sneeze” talk comes from an analogy about suicide that Therese wrote about in her piece, “What Suicidal Depression Feels Like.” The act of suicide is like a sneeze, she argued, in that it is a urgent message from the body to perform an action, an impulse that includes no cognitive process or thinking.
13. I’m not depressed, but I have a relative who is bipolar. Can I still join to learn about what to do for him?
Absolutely! The community is home not only to those who struggle with chronic depression or mood disorders, but also to the family members and friends who wish to better understand their loved ones. One of our groups, “Family Members and Friends Of,” is dedicated to the specific kinds of questions that you may have and the types of struggle you endure as a loved one.