Making connections in life is hard, and this doesn’t get any easier as we get older. Many elderly people experience loneliness as a standard, without emotional support to help them through life’s difficulties.
If you work with older people, you might know someone who:
- Doesn’t have a family for support, or isn’t in regular contact with their family.
- Is experiencing deteriorating health, making it harder to socialise.
- Has experienced the death of their partner or close friends.
- Has limited finances, preventing access to activities.
- Has limited social circles due to retirement, lack of mobility, and lack of opportunities for older people to connect.
It never feels good to know that someone feels isolated, but not many people know where to direct others for support. That’s where eFriend comes in.
At eFriend, our Peer Support Workers have all experienced loneliness – fighting against difficult circumstances while feeling alone in the world. Each of our stories are unique but they share some common threads: feeling out of place, unworthy of help, like a burden to others, or simply disconnected from the joy in life.
Sessions with an eFriend peer offer the chance to talk openly with an empathetic ear. We offer up to 15 sessions – to help people work through a current situation, or simply walk alongside them as a supportive connection at this current point in life.
eFriend is here to help
Because we’ve had experience of our own, we don’t judge.
We’re here to chat over phone, video or text sessions – ready to listen, empathise, validate and provide hope.
How does it work?
• eFriend sessions go for 30 mins each.
• Sessions are booked at least 1 day in advance.
• You can receive up to 15 calls – usually scheduled weekly but can be customised.
• After your intro call, you will speak to the same eFriend peer each week – no need to repeat your story every time!
“I believe this service is incredibly valuable and I have referred other people to it after having such a positive experience myself.”
– eFriend Participant
Who is it for?
If you’re over 18 and living in Australia, we’re ready to chat! Don’t worry, there are no hidden costs involved. The eFriend program is funded by the Australian Federal Government and is 100% free for participants over the entire program.
How Do I make a Referral?
First, sit down with the person and explain to them what eFriend can offer and how you think it might benefit them. Answer any questions they have and ensure they understand. If they seem interested, you can ask for their consent to provide their details to eFriend for the referral.
After gaining consent, there are three ways to help a person sign up for eFriend.
- For people who have an email address and no problem using it, you can send them a link to the sign-up form for them to complete for themselves.
- For people who have an email but might benefit from your help to complete the form, you can support them in person to fill in their details and book their first call.
- For people who do not have an email address or are not confident in using it, you can use our specialised referral link, which will book them in for a sign-up call. We will ask for the times/days that are best for us to do a quick call to check their consent to the service and book in their first eFriend call. After completing each call in the program, we will confirm the next booking with the participant, so that there is no need to book online. If it works for the participant, we can stick to the same day and time each week so that it’s easier to remember!
In a recent evaluation of eFriend completed by the Black Dog Institute, over 85% of participants surveyed said they were either extremely or very satisfied with the program.
Want to sign up for yourself? eFriend supports people of all ages 18+. You might be surprised how helpful it can be to simply talk.