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From Social Network to Peer Support Network: Opportunities to Explore Mechanisms of Online Peer Support for Mental Health

Rayland, Amy; Andrews, Jacob

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Authors

Amy Rayland

JACOB ANDREWS JACOB.ANDREWS@NOTTINGHAM.AC.UK
Industry Engagement Manager: mental Heal



Abstract

An increasing number of psychological interventions are shifting to online modes of delivery. One such intervention is peer-to-peer support, which in this context may provide internet users living with mental health disorders an opportunity to connect with and support others living with similar conditions. This paper presents a call for further research into how platforms such as Facebook could be used as channels for peer support and the mechanisms that may underlie their effectiveness. We discuss the background of peer support, how it has transitioned online, and consider theories and models that may have relevance. We also consider the importance of moderation within online peer support and the development of specific social network–based online interventions. We conclude that for social network sites to be used as peer-to-peer support interventions, more research is needed to understand their effectiveness, the role of moderation in these communities, and the mechanisms that produce the benefits experienced by users.

Citation

Rayland, A., & Andrews, J. (2023). From Social Network to Peer Support Network: Opportunities to Explore Mechanisms of Online Peer Support for Mental Health. JMIR Mental Health, 10, Article e41855. https://doi.org/10.2196/41855

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 2, 2023
Online Publication Date Feb 28, 2023
Publication Date Feb 28, 2023
Deposit Date Mar 2, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 3, 2023
Journal JMIR Mental Health
Electronic ISSN 2368-7959
Publisher JMIR Publications Inc.
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Article Number e41855
DOI https://doi.org/10.2196/41855
Keywords Peer-to-peer support; Facebook; social networking sites; mental health; moderation
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/17942142
Publisher URL https://mental.jmir.org/2023/1/e41855

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