What is professional peer support?
Professional peer support is a type of mental health support based on the idea that people who have successfully overcome their mental health challenges can be trained to support those who are experiencing something similar. Peer supporters are real people with real experiences, just like you, and we’ve been professionally trained to help you navigate life’s challenges—whether you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, ED, or other struggles. We offer emotional support and can teach you skills to help you better understand yourself and your feelings, improve your relationships, and set goals. Peer support creates a supportive space for you to feel seen and be heard by a professional who has actually been in your shoes and knows how to help. All of our peer supporters have gone through our proprietary training that meets state and national standards. They undergo ongoing supervision from clinical professionals.
What is Peers.net? Why should I trust it?
Peers.net is a HIPAA-compliant telehealth service provided by Flourish Labs, a healthcare company focused on flourishing minds for all. Flourish Labs is on a mission to scale professional peer support with tech to address the mental health crisis. Flourish Labs ensures the quality of our services and measures outcomes of our sessions.
Obi Felten (former Google X technologist) and Kim Newell Green (former Kaiser Permanente pediatrician) founded Flourish Labs in 2021. They bring together decades of experience working in tech and healthcare, and are passionate about leveraging technology to improve mental health for all. Both Obi and Kim are mothers and partners who have experienced what it’s like to have a loved one to struggle with their mental health.
Who is providing the support? How are you trained?
Support comes from the Peers.net team of professional peer supporters. We are a group of young adults 18-35 with a wide range of backgrounds and past experiences dealing with mental health challenges, who have since experienced recovery and have been trained to support others experiencing similar challenges. No matter what you’re going through, we’ve got you covered. You’re unique, and your support should be too. That’s why you can filter by life experience and identity to find a supporter who feels right to you.
Our training and certification program, developed in partnership with WGU Labs, meets state and national standards. Training topics include (but are not limited to): active listening skills, strength-based counseling and motivational interviewing, ethics and boundaries, trauma-informed care, suicide and crisis response, de-escalation, domestic violence, sexual assault, confidentiality, and mandatory reporting.
For more details about our peer support training, visit our training page.
How much does it cost?
Peer support sessions are $65 per session. This cost allows us to ensure the highest quality of support and fair payment for our professional peer supporters. If you don’t love your experience, we’ll send your money back—no questions asked. We do not currently accept insurance but we are working hard to accept both private insurance and Medicaid in the future. Check back here for updates on our progress.
If you’re interested in getting peer support but can’t afford it right now, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How are you protecting my data?
How does it work?
- You can get started using Peers.net by taking our quiz to find and book a session with professional peer supporters that matches what you’re looking for, whether that is a shared life experience, personal identity, or similar backgrounds. Each peer supporter is unique—feel free to filter or search for the experiences you want to talk about. You can check a peer’s availability on their profile page. Sessions are scheduled for 50 minutes.
- Once you’ve booked your session, reviewed the forms, and added your payment method you’ll receive more information via email covering next steps. You’ll also receive a Google Meet link for your session.
- When it’s time for your session, just click on the video link in the email or calendar entry.
- You can choose to turn your camera on or off, or opt for just a phone call—whatever makes you feel the most comfortable.
- If you enjoy your session, you can book another one with the same peer or experiment with a different supporter—you are not limited to sticking with just one peer!
If you don’t enjoy your session for any reason, we will provide a refund, no questions asked.
Who can use the service?
We are currently providing service to people between the ages of 13 and 30.
Why should I try peer support?
Peer support is an evidence-based treatment for lots of mental health concerns. Peer support has been scientifically proven to be beneficial for your mental health. Peer support has been shown to improve quality of life, improve engagement and satisfaction with services and supports, and to improve whole health, including chronic conditions like diabetes.
How soon can I get support?
Peer supporters set our own schedules for support sessions, so individual supporter hours will vary. You can see a supporter’s availability on their profile page. With us, you can talk to someone within 12 hours. No long waits here!
Can I cancel my peer support session?
Yes. Your payment method is not charged until you have completed your session. Cancel 24 hours before your appointment for a full refund. If you cancel less than 24 hours before your appointment or don’t show up for your session, you will be charged the full fee, as we value our supporter’s time. If you are late for a session, you will lose some of that session time.
My peer supporter canceled our session. What now?
Peer supporters may need to cancel or reschedule your session. In that case we will contact you and ask you to book a new session. If you are experiencing difficulties with booking another appointment, please contact us at email@example.com and we will help!
Can I meet my peer supporter in person?
We provide virtual peer support via secure video sessions. If you see your peer supporter in real life outside of these sessions, they will not acknowledge you first in order to protect your privacy and confidentiality. If you acknowledge your peer supporter first, they will be happy to speak briefly with you, but won’t engage in any lengthy discussions outside of scheduled visits.
Can I connect with my peer supporter on social media?
Peer supporters do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former support seekers on any social media sites. We believe that doing so can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the boundaries of the peer support relationship. If you have questions about this, feel free to ask for more information from your peer supporter during your session.
My friend or family member is a Peers.net supporter. Can I schedule a session with them?
To protect your privacy and confidentiality, we do not allow friends and family to give formal peer support via Peers.net. If you see a friend or family member on our platform, please don’t schedule a session with them.
How can I contact my peer supporter between sessions?
If you need to contact your peer supporter between sessions, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will attempt to respond to your message within 48 hours, but we cannot guarantee immediate response. Do not use this method of communication to discuss urgent matters and/or request assistance for emergencies.
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency room.
Can Peers.net help me if I’m in crisis?
Peers.net is not a crisis support service and we are not able to help folks who are actively experiencing a crisis. If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency room.
What is mandatory reporting?
We value your safety above all else. As such, peer supporters must report disclosures of suspected abuse or neglect of minors, elders, and dependent adults to the appropriate authorities.
What does this mean for you? It means your peer supporter is required by law to fill out a report if they think someone is in serious danger. This report will detail the situation and will be sent to a supervisor. This requirement keeps you and your supporters safe in the event of a dangerous situation.
What's your non-discrimination policy?
We never discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression, disability, race, color, ancestry, citizenship, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation, national origin, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law.
Are you partnering with any other organizations to provide mental health support?
We recently partnered with Scout by Sutter Health to offer Peers.net users a year of free access to Scout. Scout is a personalized digital program built for teens & young adults, offering evidence-based tips, tools and resources for wellbeing. We’ll email you the Scout discount code after you finish a peer support session with us. Download the app here.
We are actively working on more partnerships with community youth organizations, provider groups and health plans. If you are interested in partnering with us, please email email@example.com.