Need someone to talk to?

Get free calls with a trained peer support worker who has been through their own struggles – whether you’re looking for support or just want to chat.

Tired of feeling alone?

Sometimes in life things get hard, and it can feel like we have no one to run to.

There are plenty of reasons you might feel this way. Maybe…

  • You don’t have anyone in your life that is safe to open up to.
  • The people you’re close to are dealing with their own struggles right now and you don’t want to be another burden.
  • You’re not sure if the things you’re struggling with are “bad” enough to bother talking about, and you worry people will think you’re complaining about nothing.
  • You’ve already reached out and it didn’t end up helping – leaving you afraid to make yourself vulnerable again.
  • It’s always been difficult to connect with others so you’ve given up trying.
At eFriend, our Peer Support Workers all have their own version of this story – 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 that the help we needed was too hard to find.

Sessions with an eFriend peer offer the chance to talk openly with someone who understands. We offer up to 15 sessions – to help you work through a current situation, or simply walk alongside you 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 or video 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.

Some of the reasons you might want to talk to eFriend:

• You’re feeling down, stressed, lonely, isolated or worried, and just need someone to talk to.
• You’re seeking additional support on top of other current services.
• You’re looking for connections with other services and supports.
• You’re living with mental health issues.
• You’re going through a difficult period, such as unemployment or a relationship break-up.
• You’re living with complex psychosocial disability and already supported by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
• You have limited mobility or are isolating due to COVID-19/other illness, and wanting to remain socially connected.

Some of the reasons you might want to talk to eFriend:

  • You’re feeling down, stressed, lonely, isolated or worried, and just need someone to talk to.
  • You’re seeking additional support on top of other current services.
  • You’re looking for connections with other services and supports.
  • You’re going through a difficult period, such as unemployment or a relationship break-up.
  • You’re living with mental health issues.
  • You’re living with complex psychosocial disability and already supported by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  • You have limited mobility or are isolating due to COVID-19/other illness, and wanting to remain socially connected.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be matched to an eFriend peer with the exact same lived experience as me? Can I choose my eFriend peer?

At eFriend, we don’t currently have a system in place to allow for detailed matching, or for you to make the choice of which eFriend peer you will speak to. If you do have any specific preferences, please let the eFriend peer know during your first session and we can work to accommodate you as best we can (according to available staff and scheduling). As an example, a queer person might be more comfortable speaking to a peer who is also queer.

In tandem with this, we strongly believe that our lived experience does not need to match perfectly in order to have meaningful, supportive conversations. In fact, we find that peers and participants often discover surprising points of commonality over their sessions together, even if they aren’t immediately obvious. Sometimes a slightly different perspective can also be helpful in uncovering options you haven’t been exposed to before.

Can eFriend provide me with referrals to other services?

At eFriend, our key purpose is to provide peer support. While we want to help our participants get access to the services they need, we also don’t want to set ourselves up as the “experts” in what is right for you. One of the core principles of peer support is that we are experts on ourselves only, and that we do not do any work for you (which can damage the equal nature of the peer relationship). We also don’t have the in-depth knowledge of what the most useful services might be in every area across Australia. 

For these reasons, we do not provide direct referrals to other services. This means we cannot set up meetings or pass your details on to other services. We also do not make suggestions of individual providers or services. 

On the other hand, we do want our participants to be empowered to seek longer-term supports (after all, eFriend is only a short-term service). We can talk you through different pathways to investigate in order to find the right services and get in contact. The services we recommend regularly are listed in our National Recovery Services Directory, which you can always find in the Referrals and Resources section on the eFriend Homepage. 

We can also help you get over any nerves you might have in reaching out, from talking through any barriers to doing role plays of conversations. All of our peers have overcome their past fears in order to get help for their mental health and can understand how you might be feeling! 

What if I don’t connect to my eFriend peer?

While we try to match each person with one peer for the duration of their eFriend journey (in order to develop a relationship and avoid repeating your story) we understand that sometimes people simply don’t “click”. If at any point you feel that you could benefit from speaking with a new eFriend peer, simply let your peer know in a friendly manner. Alternatively, if asking directly feels too confrontational, please email efriend@icla.org.au and we can organise to book you with another peer worker. Either way, no eFriend peer is going to hold that decision against you, as we all want you to have the best experience you can!

Do something good for yourself and book a chat with an eFriend.
You might be surprised how helpful it can be to simply talk.

Keen to collaborate?

Let’s explore opportunities for collaboration and partnership

At ICLA, we believe that the best way to ensure that the need of the community are being met and that programs evolve with the changing needs is to listen to what people and communities need.
Innovation and new ideas to solve complex problems start by having a conversation and seeing what sparks. We would love to chat and hear more about what the concerns are for your community and to explore opportunities to collaborate or partner.

You are one click away from getting the conversation started. Click here to send an email to Zoe Blome, the Manager of Community Services, and get the conversation started.