Reaching Out-Rising Up is a self-help support group started by @Justyn04 , Samsara Invictus (@Fireblood ) and @Fionwyn Wyldemane to provide a safe space for Avatars who are battling depression. We will have weekly meetings going forward every Saturday, same time, same place: 4PM-5PM CST (9PM-1oPM UTC) in Serpent's Watch. We do have a Discord server available for this and future meetings as well as private channels if you prefer to speak to one of us individually. We have posted articles and videos. Discord is optional, not required Let us know if you have any questions and we will do our best to answer them or, you can contact us via Forum PM or Discord PM for more information about joining the support group: Justyn04 – SOTA forums Justyn – Discord Fireblood - SOTA forums Samsara – Discord Fionwyn Wyldemane – SOTA forums and Discord Thank you to the Shroud of the Avatar community for helping us Reach Out and Rise Up. Spoiler: PSA From Child Mind Institute - Rick Springfield *Note - we are not affiliated with the Child Mind Institute Spoiler: Disclaimer We are not mental health professionals and we don’t claim to have all the answers. The purpose of the support group is to talk about different challenges faced by those who battle depression and offer hope that depression does not have to prevent you from having a full life! Through open discussion and simple sharing of ideas we want to get the message out that you are not alone in your struggle!. Spoiler: Support Group Guidelines There will be very simple guidelines to follow: 1. We are not mental health professionals. We can only give support and guidance. We do not offer medical advice of any kind. 2. Be respectful and considerate towards others. This means “don’t be a dic-”. No bullying, racism, sexism, homophobia or discrimination etc. 3. You are welcome to share your personal experiences but, refrain from judging the experiences of others. We are all equal in our fight! 4. Respect the boundaries of others. Do not ask for or give out personal information. No trying to persuade people to follow your religion or God. 5. Do not try to diagnose or suggest treatment. Do not refer to drugs, drugs therapy or offer to trade medication. 6. If you’d like to start your own support group, that’s great! However, please do not use ‘ROTA', ‘Reaching Out To Avatars’ -or- ‘Reaching Out-Rising Up’ for any groups, servers or games without asking first! 7. Finally, NO SPAMMING of the channel with advertising, fundraising, activism, research, or surveys. This also includes advertising your Discord server, website or other community group etc. This server is strictly a safe space for anyone who joins it. No begging for gifts, items, money, donations, subscribers etc. Spoiler: If you feel you are at risk, please see the list of US support helpline numbers below If your depression has caused you to lose a job, drop out of school, lose touch with family or friends, or if you’ve noticed changes in your sleep and appetite that have not improved, contact one of these free resources to learn more about treating your depression: Free Hotline Numbers in the US 1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-HELP (4357) SAMHSA’s behavioral health treatment services locator is an easy and anonymous way to locate treatment facilities and other resources, such as support groups and counselors, to treat and manage depression. 2. National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) If your depression is leading to suicidal thoughts, call the National Hopeline to connect with a depression treatment center in your area. The Hopeline also offers a live chat feature for those who don’t want to (or are unable to) call and can dispatch emergency crews to your location if necessary. 3. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) This national hotline is another valuable resource for people whose depression has escalated to suicidal or other harmful thoughts. Their network of crisis centers provide emotional support and guidance to people in distress and are also available via a chat service and a special hotline number for the hearing impaired: 1-800-799-4889. 4. National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663 This resource provides brief interventions for youth who are dealing with pregnancy, sexual abuse, child abuse, depression and suicidal thoughts. They also provide referrals to local counseling, treatment centers, and shelters. 5. Veterans: 1-800-273-8255 Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves.