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FAQ’s

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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?

eFriend offers 5-10 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 each week 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 to support you.

If you come to the end of your eFriend sessions, we offer an additional five free sessions for people who would like more support 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 
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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. 

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.

What does eFriend do?

eFriend offers 5-10 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 each week 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 to support you.

If you come to the end of your eFriend sessions, we offer an additional five free sessions for people who would like more support 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.

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.

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