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Why peer support for students?

Peer support relies on students 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 for young people and adults alike.

 

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

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Reductions in depression, loneliness and anxiety

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Greater sense of happiness

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Increased self-esteem

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Improved quality of life and social functioning

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

Why TalkCampus?

Want your students to thrive and stay safe? Our Impact Report shows that since using the platform:

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70%

feel less isolated

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72%

say their relationships have improved

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82%

feel more understood

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60%

feel more able to cope with their studies

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The mental health research behind TalkCampus

TalkCampus is a global 24/7 mental health support network for students, combining world-class technology, intuitive design, and clinical excellence.

 

TalkCampus is powered by TalkLife, the world's leading mental health support network. It’s the only peer support platform clinically evidenced to increase users' confidence in their ability to manage their own mental health and reduce harmful behaviors (Kruzan et al. 2022). A recent study (Rickard et al. 2022) also placed TalkLife in the top ten of quality mental health apps, after it scored highly in areas including accessibility, security and privacy, and evidence and clinical base.

 

We’re proud to have an ORCHA score of 82%, which breaks down key assessment criteria relating to clinical assurance, data privacy, and user experience.

 

Like TalkLife, our student platform is rooted in in-depth mental health and peer support research. Find out more below.

Our commitment to impact

Impact-focused and transparent reporting

 

Our impact framework underpins our product development and our extensive mental health research programs with some of the world's leading university teams inform our understanding of mental health and the critical role technology can play in offering support. We hold a strong commitment to tangible research outcomes that have timely and relevant applications.

 

We are also committed to understanding our own impact as a platform and regularly undertake assessments and research to understand this.

Reporting and

data-sharing

 

As a TalkCampus university, you will receive quarterly de-identified reports that highlight current usage patterns and any key trends across your student population.

 

  • Patterns of usage

  • Engagement levels 

  • Mood and topics discussed 

  • Outliers and community sentiment 


Your institution-specific trends and data will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed to any third parties or partner universities. We’ll also support you with building engagement and increasing awareness of TalkCampus across your student body based on current trends.

Data protection and security

 

At TalkCampus, we strive to uphold the highest data privacy standards for our users. We have implemented a suite of security across our architecture to ensure our members’ privacy and security are upheld. Through our governance and overarching management, we continually review our security policies and procedures.

 

We comply with the relevant data security and privacy standards of the UK, Australia, the US, and the EU. More information about what data is collected and how it is collected can be found in our privacy policy here.

Students feel the impact of TalkCampus

 

"Having a safe space to rant and rave about your struggles really helps to lessen them. This app gives you that in an easy-to-navigate space full of people sharing the same experiences. Really just what I needed right now."

 

“Downloading this app was the best thing I could have done. It means the world knowing that people who don’t even know me are willing to be there for me if I need somebody.”

 

“This app was really good! It creates so much care, I have never felt this much support from just an app, and that too from students who are like me!!! It’s really fresh....”

Clinical advisors

Bringing together some of the best minds across suicide prevention, self-harm, and the provision of mental health support online, our Advisory Board provides a clinical steer across all safeguarding and platform development.

Matthew Nock

TalkLife Advisory Board
Edgar Pierce Prof. of Psychology
Harvard College Prof. Chair,
Dep. of Psychology,
Harvard University

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RICHARD GRAHAM

TalkLife Advisory Board
TalkLife Safety & Wellbeing Director
Consultant Psychiatrist, UKCCIS, London Digital Mental Wellbeing Service

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A.M., Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology, Harvard University

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DR JANIS WHITLOCK

TalkLife Advisory Board

Director of the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery

John Draper

DR JOHN DRAPER

TalkLife Advisory Board
Director, National Suicide
Prevention Lifeline

Dan Reidenberg

DR DAN REIDENBERG

TalkLife Advisory Board
Exec Director, Suicide Awareness
Voices of Education

Karthik Dinakar

KARTHIK DINAKAR

TalkLife Advisory Board
Reid Hoffman Fellow
MIT AI Data Scientist

Eric Horvitz

ERIC HORVITZ

TalkLife Collaborator / Advisor
MD, Microsoft Research

Christian Sejersen

CHRISTIAN SEJERSEN

TalkLife Board / Advisor
LEO Innovation

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JENNIFER RUSSELL

Chair, TalkLife Advisory Board Director Research and Safeguarding TalkLife Ltd

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DR BECKY INKSTER

TalkLife Advisory Board

Alan Turing Centre

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WALTER DEMPSEY

Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Assistant Research Professor at the Institute of Social Research

Our world-leading

research partners

 

TalkCampus 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 student who needs support. 

 

TalkCampus 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:

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Microsoft Research

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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.

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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) 

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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

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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

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Ulm University

Understanding online communication between peers who self-harm

Professor Paul Plenner

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University of Guelph

Impact of online communication to self-injury

Stephen P. Lewis

PhD Associate Professor

Department of Psychology

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