eFriend has come about as an immediate response to the COVID-19 situation in Australia. It is a virtual platform to provide peer support and connection to people if they’re feeling down, lonely, stressed, isolated or worried.
An eFriend Peer is a ‘Peer Support Worker’ – which is someone employed on the basis of their personal lived experience of mental illness, suicidality and recovery (consumer peer worker), or their experience of supporting family or friends with mental illness (carer peer worker). This lived experience is an essential qualification for their job, in addition to other skills and experience required for the Peer role, including training in Trauma-Informed Care, Suicide Awareness and Prevention, and Safe Storytelling.
eFriend offers 5-10 virtual peer support sessions, with each session held with the same person (and a choice of whether sessions are conducted by video or phone call). eFriend sessions are scheduled for 30-mins each week. While eFriends do not provide crisis support, counselling, or mental health treatment, they can listen, talk through ideas and concerns, and can provide information about other services and referral options that are available.
Who is eFriend for?
eFriend is for anyone aged 18 and over who is feeling down, stressed, lonely, isolated or worried and needs someone to talk to who will listen, without judgement.
eFriend peers also have access to a wide range of resources so can help refer individuals to other services for more specialised support.
Is there a cost to use eFriend?
No – eFriend is a free service that is enabled through a government grant.
How to access eFriend
Individuals can access eFriend via the website (https://efriend.org.au/), where they can go through a brief registration process and then book their first call.