MHPG Community Playbook

Welcome to the MHPG website! The information and communities on this site are here to help the members of ASRM’s Mental Health Professional Group (MHPG) learn and connect with each other. To learn more about the community and our guidelines for community usage, please read the following sections.

I. Site Access

While certain sections of the MHPG website are public, many of the community sections are restricted as a benefit to MHPG members. To enjoy continued access to the community, members should ensure that their ASRM and MHPG memberships are current.

II. Site and Community Governance

Content for the MHPG website is developed by the Executive and Standing Committees and monitored by the MHPG e-Communications Committee. A list of committee members may be found on the site’s Leadership page.

Community discussions, blog posts, and shared files are created and self-moderated by the community. Members of the community may mark a post or file as inappropriate if they feel like the content does not meet the rules and guidelines outlined in the next section.

When content is flagged as inappropriate, the content will disappear from the site and will be sent to a site administrator for review. If deemed appropriate, the content will be released to reappear on the site.

ASRM and MHPG reserve the right to ban a community member for repeated or major violations of community rules or guidelines.

III. Site and Community Sections

A. Static Content

Static content on the site includes information about MHPG and its programs and events. This information is generally available to the public. Any questions about or suggestions for static content should be directed to the MHPG Executive Committee.

B. Discussions

The Discussion area is intended as a forum for MHPG members to interact about topics of interest, practice questions, career advice, collaborations, etc. Any MHPG member in good standing can post topics for discussion and respond to existing topics. Posts and replies should abide by community rules and guidelines. Confidential patient information should never be included in the Discussion area.

C. Blogs

Members of the MHPG community are invited to create blog posts to share information on topics of interest. Although a blog post can be open for comments, a blog is more similar to an article than an interactive discussion. Blog posts should abide by community rules and guidelines.

We welcome posts sharing articles of interest or scientific publications, as well as educational events that are presented by your organization or in which you are a participant. Self-promotion and advertising is NOT ALLOWED.

D. Library

The MHPG website contains a library of shared files and links of interest. Members are invited to share files according to community rules and guidelines and suggest links of interest to the MHPG Website Content Committee.

E. Events

We invite you to share with the list-serve those educational events (lectures, talks, seminars, courses) you feel might be of interest to your colleagues. In order to encourage members to share events in which you or your organization might be participating without appearing to be self-promoting, we ask that you follow the procedure below:

  1. Write a brief description of the event you would like to share with the community
  2. Attach relevant materials in the form of a PDF.
  3. Send description and materials to the e-Communications Committee Chair for review.
  4. The e-Communications Chair will post the announcement to the National Events calendar along with related materials.

Calendar entries should follow ASRM’s guidelines for event posting, which include listing events only for nonprofit organizations that do not take place within a 45-day window of the ASRM Scientific Congress & Expo.

IV. Community Rules and Guidelines

A. General Rules

  • Professional debates can create strong differences of opinion, which may be expressed in a constructive manner; but personal attacks and offensive comments are inappropriate, not in the spirit of the MHPG; and are against the policy of the MHPG Community. Inappropriate behaviors include, but are not limited to, name calling, and other personally directed critical comments. Use of profanity is prohibited.
  • Use caution when discussing products. Information posted on the lists and in the libraries is available for all to see, and comments are subject to libel, slander, and antitrust laws. 
  • Please observe all copyright laws. In particular, you should not post copies or pdfs of reprints or other published material, unless you are the holder of the copyright or have written permission from the copyright holder. Instead, whenever possible, please post the link or URL of the material or a citation for the publication.
  • Everyone owns the words they post in the MHPG Community and the act of posting gives MHPG and ASRM permission to distribute and archive the posting. Therefore, you may not forward or in any way share postings from the discussion with persons who are not subscribers without the permission of the writer of the message.
  • The MHPG Community is a public forum. It is NOT, under any circumstance, to be considered a venue for discussing or sharing any patient, clinical, or other information that is privileged or confidential. A useful rule-of-thumb is that nothing should be posted that you would not also include in a signed letter to the editor of a national newspaper. Should you want to post information about a specific clinical situation, either general issues should be abstracted from the case or the specific information must be sufficiently disguised or minimal, so that the person(s) being discussed would not recognize themselves. If the person, an intimate, or other people that know them would recognize them, the information should not be included on a community posting.
  • Participants are encouraged to post questions, seek advice, and debate clinical and professional issues. However, the MHPG Community should not be utilized as a substitute for face-to-face clinical supervision, nor should it be used as a way to seek clinical training by clinicians who want to work in the field. While these distinctions are difficult to draw, if the intent of the posting is to solicit guidance about the specific clinical situation being discussed, then it will be considered a request for supervision and should not be posted. For example, one should not present specific clinical material (assuming, of course, that confidentiality is not being breached) and ask, "What should I do?" However, it might be appropriate to present the same material later and say, "Here's what I did; what would you do and why?" In other words, issues posted should have general applicability and reflect broad points as they pertain to members' clinical and scientific work in reproductive medicine and infertility. Postings should not be used to expand one's boundaries of competence in order to meet the specific demands of a specific situation, as that is something appropriately addressed in formal supervision or continuing education.
  • We appreciate the value of getting a recommendation from a trusted source, which is why so many of us ask for recommendations from members of the list-serve.
    • General responses confirming or contradicting a question or line of thinking are appropriate.
    • Responses that mention specific organizations or your organization or publication by name should be back-channeled. For example, if there is a post asking about agencies that facilitate open identity egg donation, it is acceptable to answer whether you know of agencies that do this. Other members might like to know that that service is generally available. The names of specific agencies of which you are aware or with which you have worked should be back-channeled. It is not acceptable to post a response that indicates that the agency for which you work or consult offers the service in question.
    • Materials such as websites, journal articles, or books written by you or in which your organization is involved are valuable resources we want you to be able to share with MHPG members. Please bear with us as we work with our Committees to determine the best means of informing our members of your print or on-line materials.
  • We want to support research efforts as much as possible. Research is obviously important to the work we do. The MHPG network of members is a great way to reach a large number of professionals with your request for research participants.
    • Please submit your request to recruit research subjects to the e-Communications Committee Chair.
    • In order for your request to be posted to the discussion board, your project must have IRB approval from an appropriate institution. The goal of the research project, collaborators, institution approving the research, and methods of recruitment should all be included in your submission to the e-Communications Committee.
  • MHPG members may NOT utilize the MHPG Community for purposes of self-promotion, advertising, or for other commercial intent. Advertising or self-promotion includes, but is not limited to, the promotion of specific clinical or consulting services; the promotion of social networking pages (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. with the exception of personal social media links on an individual’s community profile); sales of publications; and/or promotion of agencies, companies, or products from which the member derives income or other financial compensation. Community members are asked to keep this in mind, as well, with regard to the signature files of their posts. Relevant educational programs, conferences, or seminars in which MHPG members are involved, but receive no financial compensation, or a single honorarium, may be posted on the MHPG lists.
  • The content of the MHPG Community does not represent official policies of the ASRM, any of its professional or special interest groups, or necessarily the views of all of its members. Do not quote peer opinions as formal policy.

All messages must add to the body of knowledge. We reserve the right to reject any message for any reason.

B. Discussion Group Etiquette

  • Include a signature tag on all messages. Include your name, affiliation, location.
  • Post your message or documents only to the most appropriate lists or libraries. Do not spam several lists or libraries with the same message. 
  • State concisely and clearly the topic of your comments in the subject line. This allows members to respond more appropriately to your posting and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject. 
  • Include only the relevant portions of the original message in your reply. Delete any header information, and put your response before the original posting. 
  • Only send a message to the entire list when it contains information that everyone can benefit from. 
  • Send messages such as "thanks for the information" or "me, too" to individuals--not to the entire list. Do this by using the "Reply to Sender" link to the left of every message.
  • Do not send administrative messages, such as remove me from the list. Instead, use the web interface to change your settings or to remove yourself from a list. If you are changing e-mail addresses, you do not need to remove yourself from the list and rejoin under your new e-mail address. Simply change your settings. 
  • Warn other list subscribers of lengthy messages either in the subject line or at the beginning of the message body with a line that says "Long Message." 

C. Guidelines for Posting Blog and Shared Files

In addition to the rules previously listed, please keep blog posts and shared files free of commercial interests and copyrighted material for which you do not have permission to use. The MHPG Website Content reserves the right to remove blog posts and shared files that violate the community guidelines, contain erroneous information, and/or do not add to the community’s body of knowledge.

V. Privacy and Legal Information

For information on the MHPG website’s privacy policy and legal information, please refer to the Code of Conduct link, located at the top of the page.