Does Peer to Peer Support Help?
The evidence behind peer support for mental health
We are the leading global online peer to peer support network for youth mental health.
TalkLife is an online peer to peer support network designed to provide instant connection to like-minded people in a supportive and safe community. It facilitates the giving and receiving of support in a non-judgemental environment. Enabling users to share the ups and downs of life without fear of judgment and repercussion. We combine social networking with support to create a fun engaging place to share that also has a positive impact on mental health.
The TalkLife team draws from a range of backgrounds across the psychology, research and technology fields, bound together by the same vision: To use innovative technology to create relevant, engaging support for people struggling with their mental health and to have a positive impact on the wellbeing of our users.
1 in 4 suffer with their mental health…too many are suffering alone.
Does it Help?
TalkLife is based on the principles of peer support, the benefits of which are wide-ranging and well evidenced. Peer support can be an effective mechanism to support people with anxiety, depression, addiction and many other mental health issues. On TalkLife we promote the value of social connection, talking openly and exploring feelings. Our team of volunteers are trained in active listening and providing support online and are on hand to offer empathetic support, supported by our professional 24/7 safety team. However, we empower all users to both ask for and offer support within the community, to share experiences and build social capital.
Participating in peer to peer support has been linked to:
– An increased ability to cope
– A greater sense of wellbeing & resilience
– Higher levels of self-esteem and confidence
‘Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful. Peer support is not based on psychiatric models and diagnostic criteria. It is about understanding another’s situation empathically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain.’ Shery Mead, 2003
The following provide concise evidence reviews of peer to peer support:
We regularly ask our users to consider the impact that using TalkLife has had on them across a range of assessment variables including feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression, hopefulness and self-worth. This is what we found. Since using TalkLife:
77% of our users find it easier to ask for help when they need it
73% said their relationships with others have improved
65% said they feel more positive about the future
73% feel more understood by others
68% feel more able to cope with life
“I started suffering from mental health issues when I was 15 years old and I used to self-harm and have suicidal tendencies. I felt like I had no one I could trust and tell until I found TalkLife.” Matt (20)
Further Information on Peer to Peer Support:
Harvard, MIT & Microsoft Research Partnership: World First Insights into Mental Health
TalkLife Safeguarding: Protecting our Users