Participant Instructions

The following are instructions for our online focus group. Each focus group will last for 4 weeks. The outlined instructions here may be updated as we continue through the focus group.

You are either in one of three focus groups: all women, all men, or a mixed group of men and women.

This is a 4 week long asynchronous focus group. Asynchronous means we will not have meetings or designated times of day when we will need to be online. Questions can be answered and comments to others can be posted at any time within the allocated time frame. The original questions will be posted throughout the week where you have the day when the question is posted and the next day to respond. This will provide space for follow-up discussion questions.  

Ground Rules: Let’s do our best to build a safe space here. Towards that, I request that each of you respect the privacy of your fellow participants and not share exchanges that occur here outside of this space. Additionally, please be respectful when responding to others. Differences of opinion are likely, but we should respond to each other respectfully. 

Out of concern for our each of our mental well-being, I also ask that none of you share graphic details about experiences with sexual violence. Whenever a question uses the term “incident,” I am referring to an incident of sexual violence. Sexual violence here refers to forced (may not think of it as violent but you, as the person the act was enacted on, did not consent or revoked consent which the other person ignored) sexual intercourse as an adult and any coercive/forced sexual activity as a child before the age of 16.

Throughout the study, you will be asked to provide advice for designers and developers. Some questions provide examples to spark ideas but these examples in no way cover all possible topics. 

Description of weekly topics:

Week 1 includes 3 starting questions. We will have follow-up discussion questions based on your responses to the original questions. Questions will open up on different days of the week where are asked to respond in the specified time frame. This will provide time to to engage in discussion with one another.

This week focuses on Sharing Experiences – this is a discussion of online or in-person experiences in seeking mental health information and whether social media and technology have had any influence on your mental well-being.

Week 2 includes 3 starting questions. We will have follow-up discussion questions based on your responses to the original questions.

This week’s focus is Racial Identity: These questions ask you to reflect back on your experiences disclosing (sharing your experience of violence with someone for the first time) to discuss whether it may have had a positive or negative impact on your mental wellbeing. You are also asked about your thoughts on the connection to Black stereotypes and whether you have a preference for an all-Black space. Please respond and interact as outlined in the consent form and instructions.

Week 3 includes 4 starting questions. We will have follow-up discussion questions based on your responses to the original questions.

This week’s focus is Gender, Sexuality, Religion, & Stereotypes: These questions ask you to reflect on the roles that your gender, sexuality, and/or spiritual beliefs have played in your response to violent experiences and their influence on your mental wellbeing. Then you are asked to share your thoughts on whether stereotypes that others have about Black people have influenced your information-seeking. There are examples of things you could address but they are provided to spark thought and are not required to be a part of your vision.

Week 4 includes 4 starting questions. We will have follow-up discussion questions based on your responses to the original questions.

The questions for this week are centered on Advice for Moving Forward. You are asked to reflect back on our discussion throughout the focus group and on your growth since the incident to share how your responses may be different and advice you have for others.