Want to talk to your peers? Check out these support forums.
Would you prefer to chat online with other young people about what’s on your mind? If so, the Peer-to-Peer Community at Kids Help Phone may be an option for you. Here, you can get to know the online support forums — what they are, who can use them, how we help protect your privacy and more. After reading this page, you’ll have more information to decide if the Peer-to-Peer Community is right for you!
Using the Peer-to-Peer Community made me realize that we’re all in this together and never alone. It’s good to hear other people with similar experiences talking about them, and I can see how much my own struggles are real and understandable.
What is this community?
The Peer-to-Peer Community is a collection of online support forums. In the community, youth can anonymously share their personal experiences, offer inspiration and ask questions to connect, comfort and cheer each other on.
It’s a community co-created by youth, for youth. Kids Help Phone collaborated with hundreds of young people across Canada to build this platform and test it out. With youth input every step of the way, you can now navigate mental health info and support through authentic, real-life experiences in the community.
Peer-to-Peer Community – Our Origin Story
What we did
- Created a safe online space where young people, who are experts in their own experiences, can share their experiences and insights with other young people across Canada.
- This moderated community empowers and protects young people as they share and learn they are not alone in their struggles
How we did it
- We had 237 youth participants take part in a pilot over 2 months in early 2021, to help us design the Peer-to-Peer Community, a service designed with youth for youth. Pilot participants came from across Canada.
- 2 from Prince Edward Island
- 20 from Quebec
- 17 from Alberta
- 2 from Nunavut
- 2 from The Yukon
- 152 from Ontario
- 4 from Manitoba
- 15 from Nova Scotia
- 2 from Saskatchewan
- 1 from New Brunswick
- 16 from British Columbia
- 1 from Northwest Territories
- 4 from Newfoundland and Labrador
- To guide and inform the design of the site, youth pilot participants also completed weekly surveys where we gathered their insights and feedback on things like:
- Site design
- Community guidelines
- Forum content
- We also held stakeholder engagement sessions with priority populations to learn about their needs for a service like this. We spoke to young people who were BIPOC, persons with a lived experience of mental illness, persons supporting someone else with a mental illness, LGBTQ2S+, post-secondary students, and French speaking.
What we heard
- Participants were very excited about the service and appreciated the opportunity to be part of the design process. Specifically:
- 99% of participants said this service would help many or some young people across Canada
- 98% of participants were happy with their experience in the pilot
- 87% of participants said they had the space to share all their thoughts and suggestions for the design of this service
“The service felt incredibly unifying. It’s easy to feel alone, especially right now, and reading stories that felt relatable was an eye opening and amazing experience.” (Pilot Participant)
Whether you’d like to use the platform to tell your story, provide encouragement or get help (or all of the above!), this space belongs to you. When you visit the community, you’ll find:
- support forums that everyone can browse 24/7 (without an account)
- space to register for / log in to an account to post / reply on the moderated forums (you just need to add a nickname, email address and password)
- links to wellness resources and connections to other e-mental health services
What can I post and read on the support forums?
This space belongs to you, so you can write about anything on the forums in English or French. You can connect with other young people about whatever’s on your mind. For example, you can post about school, racism, friends, religion, trauma, discrimination, hope, isolation and more. No topic is off limits in this community — if it’s important to you, it’s likely important to other youth in Canada.
Can I use the support forums?
The Peer-to-Peer Community is open to young people across Canada. It’s available to anyone with an Internet connection from coast to coast to coast. You can view the forums if you’re outside of Canada, but you can only log in when you’re in Canada. To get the support you need in the country you reside in, you can visit the Child Helpline International website.
When you’re in the forums, you’ll be talking to other youth. We want to let you know that the community is most applicable for people who are 12 to 26 years of age. Some individuals may find certain content on the platform hard to read about. If you need support at any time, or if you’d like to find a resource that may be a better fit for you, you can check out our other e-mental health services.
Do I need an account?
How is my privacy protected?
How is this platform funded?
Canada Health Infoway is fueling the Peer-to-Peer Community at Kids Help Phone. Thank you to Canada Health Infoway for helping to empower, validate, uplift and remind young people that they’re never alone! We’d also like to thank The Co-operators, Graham Burton Foundation, Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, United Way Newfoundland and Labrador and Fondation Jacques & Michel Auger for promoting young people’s resilience, autonomy and strength by supporting this important work!
Published June 2021
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