MHA’s I Am Not Alone is an activity database designed by peers, for peers. It is designed to support those struggling with loneliness and isolation by helping them meet and connect with other people based on shared interests. It does this by allowing anyone to create, find, and attend activities that can begin the process of building meaningful friendships.
Designed by peers, for peers means that MHA’s I Am Not Alone was designed by those who identify as peers. In this instance, MHA defines a peer as someone who identifies as living with a mental health condition.
It also means that when designing this site, we specifically included features that would benefit those living with mental health conditions. One feature allows hosts the ability to list disability accommodations for their events. Another feature allows hosts to highlight if an event is for peers only (those who identify as living with mental health conditions).
A peer is broadly defined as someone who shares your lived experience. This lived experience can be having a mental health condition. It can also include other characteristics such as sharing gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, language, or disability. Being a peer can also be a situational experience, like being a parent or experiencing a life-altering event such as a natural disaster.
In addressing loneliness and isolation, shared lived experience is important. Activities designed for peers only (those who identify as living with mental health conditions) allow participants to receive support from someone who can relate to their experience.
Hosts can choose from a range of options, including ASL Interpreter, Communication Access In Real-Time (CART Services), Large Print, Braille Services, Wheelchair Access, Assistive Listening Device, Assistant Accompaniment, Closed-Captioned Videos and Providing a Translator.
Hosts can list a range of activities including support groups, coffee meets, or just playing video games.
To list an activity on MHA’s I Am Not Alone, follow these three simple steps:
At this time, I Am Not Alone is free to both hosts and attendees.
MHA’s I Am Not Alone is only available to hosts whose activities carry no cost to the attendees.
I Am Not Alone is free to hosts and attendees.
MHA’s I Am Not Alone General Forum is a feature on our site that automatically generates a topic related to the host’s activity. Here, hosts and attendees can stay connected, get to know one another, and brainstorm future activities.
We acknowledge that some hosts may choose to use other methods to stay connected. We simply ask that you indicate this by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information.
Method to stay connected (example: Facebook group, Whatsapp group, Slack channel, Discord channel, etc.)
Once you create an activity on I Am Not Alone, a topic is automatically created on our General Forum section on our site. Hosts can use this topic section to connect and get to know members. They can then create subtopics from here.
MHA’s Peer Partners training is a fully online training for those wanting to implement the Peer Partners program in their community. Peer Partners is a unique peer response for those living with serious mental health conditions. It helps those struggling with isolation and social exclusion to build networks of friends and supportive relationships by using a support group model.
It combines the evidence-based practices of peer support and psychiatric rehabilitation and the emerging best practices of self-directed care and life coaching. MHA’s Peer Partners training consists of nine (9) mini-webinars as well as our downloadable training materials.
Those registered for our Peer Partners training also have access to our Peer Forum where they can engage with other people implementing the Peer Partners program and receive advice or feedback.