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October 8, 2021 Health & Production

Accessing peer support with anonymity

Editor’s Note: Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) contract with Togetherall ends November 19, 2022, and Alberta users will no longer have free access through AHS. AHS reminds Albertans they can continue to receive virtual mental health support at www.ahs.ca/virtualmentalhealth or www.ahs.ca/helpintoughtimes, and that resources and services, such as Text4Hope or courses like AHS’ free virtual stress management workshops or online Wellness Exchange are available.

To speak to a mental health professional, Albertans are encouraged to reach out to the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642 or the Addiction line at 1-866-332-2322. Trained staff are available 24/7.

A virtual platform is giving people the chance to share and support one another from anywhere, at any time, with anonymity.

Togetherall started in the United Kingdom in 2007. It has since expanded into several countries, including Canada, the United States and New Zealand.

“Through that, we actually have over 50 million eligible people around the world that can be accessing Togetherall…and the beauty of having such a broad network means that we have this rich member experience,” says Victoria Senyard, Partnerships Manager, North America.

Mental health on ABP Daily

“People from all sorts of walks of life, geographies, backgrounds, experiences, are all contributing to this sort of peer forum around mental health.”

Victoria Senyard, Togetherall, joins ABP Daily’s Debra Murphy to provide some background on the online network that offers peer-to-peer mental health services 24/7.

While peer discussions are Togetherall’s backbone, Senyard says it also offers self-assessments, courses, and relevant resource materials.

“As well, because of the anonymity and safety, the whole platform is actually clinically moderated and monitored by what we call our ‘Wall Guides,’ who are registered mental health practitioners.”

Wall Guides ensure member safety, protect anonymity, and direct users to available and appropriate resources.

Togetherall in Alberta

One year ago today, Alberta Health Services (AHS) announced a partnership with Togetherall, and began offering the service to Albertans 16 years of age and older, for free.

Since then Senyard says over 12,000 Albertans have joined the community. Some are there as a first-step in learning and sharing more about their mental wellbeing, others are there between supports.

Senyard says it’s also a place for caregivers, family, and friends of people who might be struggling.

Take a video tour | Check out the Togetherall site | Register

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