Have a virtual cuppa with eFriend

Sometimes a little extra support, hope and understanding is needed. That’s why eFriend is here.

eFriend is a virtual peer support service and offers befriending sessions to connect you to eFriend Peers via video call or phone call. Our service is free and available to anyone feeling down, stressed, lonely, isolated or worried.

Who is eFriend for?

eFriend is for anyone aged 18 and over who is feeling down, stressed, lonely, isolated or worried. eFriend peers are understanding and empathetic and have a 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). eFriend peers can connect with you virtually over 3 sessions and are here to listen. eFriend peers have access to a wide range of resources and can help refer you to other services to offer you greater specialised support. So whether you're looking for resources to help improve your wellbeing, or simply wanting connection during a hard time, eFriend is here for you. Simply click 'Book first session' to start your eFriend journey.

I am feeling lonely or isolated and would like someone to talk to. 

I am feeling down about the current state of the world right now.

I am feeling stressed about my circumstances and worried about my future.

I am going through a difficult period, such as unemployment or a relationship break-up.

I have an NDIS plan and supports, but I still need an eFriend to talk to for social connection.

I have to isolate due to COVID-19 or other illness, and want to share my experiences and worries with someone.

I have limited mobility which makes it difficult to get out into the community, but I still want social connection.

Most importantly, eFriend is for people who need someone to talk to who will listen, without judgement.

eFriend offers befriending and peer connection, and can be utilised in conjunction with other mental health services. Our trained and experienced eFriend Peers have been where you are and are here to talk when you’re ready.

Who is eFriend for?

eFriend is for anyone aged 18 and over who is feeling down, stressed, lonely, isolated or worried. eFriend peers are understanding and empathetic and have a 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). eFriend peers can connect with you virtually over 3 sessions and are here to listen. eFriend peers have access to a wide range of resources and can help refer you to other services to offer you greater specialised support. So whether you're looking for resources to help improve your wellbeing, or simply wanting connection during a hard time, eFriend is here for you. Simply click 'Book first session' to start your eFriend journey.

eFriend offers befriending and peer connection, and can be utilised in conjunction with other mental health services. Our trained and experienced eFriend Peers have been where you are and are here to talk when you’re ready.

How eFriend Works

Step 1: See if eFriend is right for you

Click on ‘Book First Call‘ to start your eFriend journey. You’ll be asked to provide us with some information about your circumstances and what you’re hoping to get out of eFriend. This will help us to assess whether eFriend is right for you.
Once you complete this short form, if eFriend is right for you, you will be directed to our booking platform where you can book your first call (Step 2).
If it looks like you would benefit more from other supports or services, a member of the eFriend team will email you with some resources and referral information to help you get the best support possible for your particular circumstances.

Step 2: Book an eFriend session

On our booking platform, you will be able to see all the available time and dates to pick from. Each peer support call is scheduled for 30-mins. We are open Monday – Saturday 9:30am – 8pm. Simply select the day and time that works best for you. We will ask you for some basic demographic details to help us get to you know a little better. You will also be able to select whether you want to do your eFriend sessions via video call or phone call. You are eligible for 3 free eFriend sessions upfront, and can choose to add on 3 more sessions once you’re done if you need that extra support and connection.

Step 3: Before your first eFriend call

Once you’re booked in, you’ll receive a confirmaton email with your session details and your login details which you will need to access the booking system if you would like to change your appointment time. You’ll also receive an email and SMS reminder of your appointment the day before. In the meantime, if you have any questions, you can check out our FAQ page or, if you can’t find the answer there, you can enquire by clicking on ‘Request Information‘ or emailing us at efriend@icla.org.au

Step 4: Your first eFriend call

On the day of your call, simply click on the link provided in your confirmation email to join your video call, or if you’ve opted to have a phone call, one of our eFriend Peers will call you at the allocated time.

Frequently Asked Questions

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eFriend is a virtual platform where you can connect using your personalised login and use video chat or a phone call to talk one on one with your trained peer support worker. Your eFriend Peer will listen, chat with you and offer emotional support. 

There is no need to have a mental health diagnosis or a referral, and you can use eFriend simply to debrief about what is happening for you with an eFriend Peer who is trained in Trauma Informed Care.

If you like, they can assist you to identify any other services you may like to try or help you create plans to improve your personal well-being is a priority and you are safe. Or they can simply listen.

What does eFriend do?

Through eFriend you can access three virtual peer support sessions. Each session is held with the same person, so you won’t have to re-tell your story. eFriend sessions are scheduled for 30-mins, ideally over three weeks, and offer a safe space for you to connect with your eFriend peer.

Our eFriend peers are there to listen. We do not provide crisis supports, counselling or mental health treatment. We can listen, talk through ideas and concerns that you have and can provide information about other services and referral options that are available and may be able to support you.

If you come to the end of your eFriend sessions, we offer an additional three free sessions for people who would like to extend their sessions and are benefiting from the peer support connection.

What is Peer Support?

Peer Support is a non-clinical approach to mental health and wellbeing. It enables you to connect with an empathetic listener who has real life experience dealing with mental health issues and life challenges, and has skills to share from their experience of recovery. Peer Support gives a person in distress an additional opportunity for connection, hope and empathy, and may be particularly beneficial for people who do not have someone in their life they can reach out to - simply to talk.

For more information on Peer Support, read the Peer Support Charter here or check out the Peer Work Hub.

What is an eFriend Peer?

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.

What is befriending?

Befriending is defined ‘as a relationship between a ‘befriender’ and a service user which is initiated and supported with clear boundaries. Befriending was developed originally in the UK and is the mechanism our eFriend Peers use to establish a relationship with you to deliver Peer Support. Using a befriending approach can assist with:

  • Establishing trust 
  • Create new opportunities 
  • Having fun 
  • Encouraging participation 
  • Creating equality 
  • Allowing choice 
  • Tackling challenges 
  • Understanding the whole person 

Some of the potential benefits of the befriending mechanism may include:

  • Lower rates of depression 
  • Improved social skills  
  • Reduced social isolation 
  • Improved self-management 
  • Improved self-esteem and confidence 
  • Reduced vulnerability and risk of abuse 
  • Greater sense of purpose 

Qualities and characteristics of our eFriend Peers include:

  • Strong listening skills 
  • Understanding of the people who use eFriend 
  • Ability to approach new people without prejudice 
  • Honesty and trustworthiness 
  • Commitment and reliability 
  • Respect for confidentiality 
  • Friendliness and warmth 
  • Empathy and resilience 
  • Professional approach to working with the organisation 
  • Ability to offer caring and understanding presence 
How do you protect my privacy and confidentiality?

To ensure that eFriend is a safe and supportive space, we require all eFriend participants and peers to consent to the  eFriend Agreement.

We also have a Privacy Policy which you can access here.

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Is eFriend an online counselling Service?

eFriend is a non-clinical peer support service that offers befriending and links to resources and external services. eFriend does not offer crisis support or mental health treatment. Peer Support workers are not mental health clinicians or counsellors.

The focus of eFriend is on connecting, building rapport, listening to you, empathising with any difficulties you might be encountering, and working together to make sure you feel supported.

How much does eFriend cost?

Nothing! eFriend is a free service that is enabled through a government grant. When you sign up for eFriend you are eligible for 3 - 6 free calls with a peer support worker who will listen and provide support for you.

What training do the eFriend Peers have?

Our eFriend Peers have a lived experience, having been through their own personal challenges and struggles and are recruited as specialists to these roles. In addition to this our team has undergone extensive training in peer support work modalities, Trauma Informed Care, Safe Storytelling and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training as well as a suite of other relevant training and accreditation.

What if I need additional supports?

Our eFriend peers can share resources or provide referral options to other services to help better support you based on your individual circumstances. eFriend is not a crisis, counselling or mental health service - we can help connect you into these services and can continue your eFriend sessions if you are also connected with other services.

How do I give feedback or make a complaint?

eFriend values your feedback and is committed to improving our services. There is a feedback form on the webpage that you can complete. All feedback will receive a response and is reviewed by ICLA's General Manager - Quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does eFriend do?

Through eFriend you can access three virtual peer support sessions. Each session is held with the same person, so you won’t have to re-tell your story. eFriend sessions are scheduled for 30-mins, ideally over three weeks, and offer a safe space for you to connect with your eFriend peer.

Our eFriend peers are there to listen. We do not provide crisis supports, counselling or mental health treatment. We can listen, talk through ideas and concerns that you have and can provide information about other services and referral options that are available and may be able to support you. 

If you come to the end of your eFriend sessions, we offer an additional three free sessions for people who would like to extend their sessions and are benefiting from the peer support connection.

What is Peer Support?

Peer Support is a non-clinical approach to mental health and wellbeing. It enables you to connect with an empathetic listener who has real life experience dealing with mental health issues and life challenges, and has skills to share from their experience of recovery. Peer Support gives a person in distress an additional opportunity for connection, hope and empathy, and may be particularly beneficial for people who do not have someone in their life they can reach out to - simply to talk.

For more information on Peer Support, read the Peer Support Charter here or check out the Peer Work Hub.

What is an eFriend Peer?

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.

What is befriending?

Befriending is defined ‘as a relationship between a ‘befriender’ and a service user which is initiated and supported with clear boundaries. Befriending was developed originally in the UK and is the mechanism our eFriend Peers use to establish a relationship with you to deliver Peer Support.

Using a befriending approach can assist with:

  • Establishing trust 
  • Create new opportunities 
  • Having fun 
  • Encouraging participation 
  • Creating equality 
  • Allowing choice 
  • Tackling challenges 
  • Understanding the whole person 

Some of the potential benefits of the befriending mechanism may include:

  • Lower rates of depression 
  • Improved social skills  
  • Reduced social isolation 
  • Improved self-management 
  • Improved self-esteem and confidence 
  • Reduced vulnerability and risk of abuse 
  • Greater sense of purpose 

Qualities and characteristics of our eFriend Peers include:

  • Strong listening skills 
  • Understanding of the people who use eFriend 
  • Ability to approach new people without prejudice 
  • Honesty and trustworthiness 
  • Commitment and reliability 
  • Respect for confidentiality 
  • Friendliness and warmth 
  • Empathy and resilience 
  • Professional approach to working with the organisation 
  • Ability to offer caring and understanding presence 
Is eFriend an online counselling Service?

eFriend is a non-clinical peer support service that offers befriending and links to resources and external services. eFriend does not offer crisis support or mental health treatment. Peer Support workers are not mental health clinicians or counsellors.

The focus of eFriend is on connecting, building rapport, listening to you, empathising with any difficulties you might be encountering, and working together to make sure you feel supported.

How much does eFriend cost?

Nothing! eFriend is a free service that is enabled through a government grant. When you sign up for eFriend you are eligible for 3 - 6 free calls with a peer support worker who will listen and provide support for you.

What training do the eFriend Peers have?

Our eFriend Peers have a lived experience, having been through their own personal challenges and struggles and are recruited as specialists to these roles. In addition to this our team has undergone extensive training in peer support work modalities, Trauma Informed Care, Safe Storytelling and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training as well as a suite of other relevant training and accreditation.

What if I need additional supports?

Our eFriend peers can share resources or provide referral options to other services to help better support you based on your individual circumstances. eFriend is not a crisis, counselling or mental health service - we can help connect you into these services and can continue your eFriend sessions if you are also connected with other services.

How do you protect my privacy and confidentiality?

To ensure that eFriend is a safe and supportive space, we require all eFriend participants and peers to consent to the  eFriend Agreement.

We also have a Privacy Policy which you can access here.

How do I give feedback or make a complaint?

eFriend values your feedback and is committed to improving our services. There is a feedback form on the webpage  that you can complete. All feedback will receive a response and is reviewed by ICLA's General Manager - Quality.

Ready to book your first call?

Yes, I'm ready to book my first eFriend call!

Almost, but I'd like to know more about eFriend first.

Ready to book your first call?

Yes, I'm ready to book my first eFriend call!

Almost, but I'd like to know more about eFriend first.

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