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Why peer support
Peer support in the workpace

The mental health research behind peer support

TalkLife Workplace is an innovative, cost-effective solution to supporting your employees with their mental health. It wraps around any existing EAP programs, plugging the gaps and creating a soft entry point for mental health support at work.


TalkLife Workplace also holds its own as a stand-alone option. It offers universal support not only to employees who may be experiencing mental health problems but also those struggling with work pressures, relationships, and everyday stressors.


Our platform is rooted in in-depth mental health research about the benefits of peer support in the workplace. Find out more below.

Why peer support?

Peer support relies on people using their own personal experiences to help each other. It provides a sense of connection that’s essential for our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. 


Beyond social connection, the benefits of peer support are wide-ranging and well-evidenced.


Peer support research has shown that it’s associated with:


Reductions in depression, loneliness and anxiety


Greater sense of happiness


Increased self-esteem


Improved quality of life and social functioning

When people are struggling with their mental health, they often just want a space to feel heard and accepted. Peer support can help employees find the words to say what they need and the confidence to ask for it.

Peer support

in the workplace

Want your company to thrive? Research has found that peer support in the workplace can:

Increase staff retention

Reduce Sick Leave

Improve employees’ wellbeing

Improve relationships between employees

The workplace and mental health have a reciprocal relationship, where one inevitably impacts the other. As people spend most of their time at work, the workplace is uniquely positioned to offer early intervention, before problems begin to spiral. 


However, employees often don’t feel comfortable talking about their mental health at work. Many people even find it hard to have conversations about their mental health with their doctor. This can lead to people feeling isolated and alone.


TalkLife Workplace removes the barriers to accessing mental health support by giving employees a safe space to talk 24/7, where no one knows who they are or where they work. Their employer won’t know that they are using it either.

Why TalkLife Workplace?

TalkLife Workplace is powered by the world's leading mental health support network TalkLife. TalkLife is the only online peer support platform clinically proven to increase users' confidence in their ability to manage their own mental health and reduce harmful behaviours (Kruzan et al. 2022). 


A recent mental health study (Rickard et al. 2022) also placed TalkLife in the top ten of quality mental health apps, after scoring highly in areas including accessibility, security and privacy, and evidence and clinical base. 

The evidence is clear, peer support works:



of our users find it easier to ask for help



say their relationships have improved



feel more understood



feel more able to cope with life

Our world-leading

research partners


TalkLife is committed to engaging with peer support research, demonstrating our impact, and contributing to the evidence base. We are passionate about peer support and its potential to meet the increasing demand for mental health support. We want to put an end to people struggling alone and reach any employee who needs support. 


TalkLife collaborates on world-leading research projects and works with teams and universities who help us to understand and improve the lives of people who are struggling with their mental health.  

Our researchers are working on key research questions across topics including:


  • Machine learning 

  • NLP modeling

  • Online safety 

  • Peer support and online communication

  • Self-harming behavior and suicidal ideation 


Our partner institutions include:

Wy TalkLife Workplace
Talklife Research

Microsoft Research

University of Washington.png

University of Washington

How do interactions between users impact their mood and user behavior in short and long-term, with implications for training of peers and counselors?

Tim Althoff, UW Computer Science

Dave Atkins, UW Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences


Nottingham Trent University

Exploring relationships between mental health problems, triggers and consequences and potential of deep learning and AI for support.

Dr Eiman Kanjo Senior Lecturer


Cornell University

Promoting recovery from non-suicidal self-injury: Assessing the efficacy of a mobile intervention for reducing self-injury severity

Janis Whitlock

Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) 

Natalie Bazarova

Dominic Difranzo


Georgia Tech

Development of computational and analytical approaches to examine and understand 'coming out of the closet' expressions in online communities, how it affects mental health in LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) individuals, and how online support communities cater to these needs.

Munmun De Choudhury (PI; Assistant Professor, Georgia Tech)

Eva Sharma (PhD Student)

Sang-Chan Kim (Undergraduate Student)

Oliver Haimson (PhD Student)


The Alan Turing Institute

Creation of robust longitudinal NLP models for capturing changes in language use and other online behaviour over time as a proxy for assessing mental well-being.

Dr Maria Liakata, Adam Tsakalidis, Bo Wang, Dong Nguyen, Theo Damoulas, Weisi Guo, Marya Bazzi, Elena Kochkina, Nicole Peinelt, Terry Lyons, Maria Wolters, colleagues from the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford and the Division of Psychiatry at Edinburgh.


Harvard University

A collaboration between TalkLife and researchers from Microsoft Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University to better understand and predict self harm, with the aim to create meaningful interventions.

This collaboration has been approved by the Institutional Review Board at MIT and Harvard, and the ethics board at Microsoft Research.

There are no commercial agreements or funding arrangements between the collaborating organisations. MIT, Harvard, Microsoft Research. 

Professor Matthew Nock

Adam Jaroszewski (Harvard University)

Karthik Dinakar (MIT) 


University of Central Florida

Exploration of the intersection of adolescent online safety, mental health, social support and coping for teens.

Nick Allen (Primary Investigator)

University of Oregon

Department of Psychology

Munmun De Choudhury

Georgia Tech, School of Interactive Computing, Isabel Granic, Radboud University, Developmental psychopathology

Shalini Lal, University of Montreal

Marion Underwood

Purdue University, College of Health and Human Sciences

Pamela Wisniewski

Department of Computer Science, University of Central Florida


Swansea University

This is part of a larger study utilising electronic data to address key challenges around children and young people’s mental health.

The project aims to bring together data related to a range of issues from education to social media use.


Part of this project is centred on adverse childhood experiences (ACES; these include things like bullying,

abuse and family issues) and their relationship with mental health and self-harm.

Professor Ann John

Amanda Marchant

Marcos Delpozobanos


Ulm University

Understanding online communication between peers who self-harm

Professor Paul Plenner


University of Guelph

Impact of online communication to self-injury

Stephen P. Lewis

PhD Associate Professor

Department of Psychology

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