Launching on World Mental Health Awareness Day, the partnership aims to address the urgent need for LGBTQIA+ youth mental health support
NEW YORK — October 10 at 11:10 a.m. ET — ShareWell, the first peer support platform connecting people over shared life experiences for healing and connection, today announced a new partnership with Active Minds, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization mobilizing youth and young adults to change the culture around mental health. In honor of World Mental Health Awareness Day (October 10) and LGBTQ History Month, ShareWell will donate one year of mental health support to 100 Active Minds young adults who identify as LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning and/or asexual). This donation kicks off a campaign and larger initiative to provide year-long mental health support to 1,000 at-risk LGBTQIA+ youths.
LGBTQIA+ youth experience a greater risk for mental health conditions and are twice as likely to report experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness than their heterosexual peers. Yet, a staggering 60% of LGBTQ+ youth who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it, according to The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health. The ShareWell and Active Minds partnership helps address the urgent need for LGBTQIA+ mental health support by giving youth and young adults the opportunity to connect with a community of peers who share similar life experiences in an emotionally safe environment via ShareWell’s platform.
“It’s more important now than ever that LGBTQIA+ youth have access to the mental health support they need as this demographic is reporting depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts at an alarming rate,” said CeCe Cheng, founder and CEO of ShareWell. “We are honored to partner with Active Minds to not only bring awareness to the lack of mental health support available but to also provide a solution. Our partnership makes peer support more accessible and provides resources designed to help young adults foster a community and culture of acceptance.”
LGBTQIA+ youth are one of the most at-risk demographics for poor mental health that goes unsupported and untreated. Eighty-three percent report having anxiety and 45% have seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. Peer support is a powerful aid in improving the mental health of these young adults as studies show LGBTQ youths who have a community of accepting peers have significantly lower rates of suicide.
“While mental health outcomes are worsening for all young adults, the data reveal that LGBTQIA+ young adults are facing more barriers than others, making it less likely that they can access the care they need,” said Laura Horne, chief program officer at Active Minds. “ShareWell’s unique approach to peer support is exactly what our community and the wider demographic needs. Together, we hope to address the current gaps in LGBTQIA+ mental health care and to improve the well-being of anyone in this demographic by enabling them to be a part of a community of accepting peers.”
The first 100 memberships will be donated by ShareWell, and the company will match any additional memberships gifted to an Active Minds young adult who identifies as LGBTQIA+ beginning October 10 until December 10, 2023. Active Minds will give free ShareWell memberships to the young adults in their community requiring mental health support.
“ShareWell is a safe haven for me to talk about things I can’t speak of in my everyday life,” said Ash, an LGBTQIA-identifying ShareWell member. “I take great comfort in knowing that I can join a session, be supported and shown compassion and empathy. ShareWell was the missing puzzle piece of my healing journey that I never knew I needed.”
ShareWell is a mental health platform pioneering peer support as a mental health complement or alternative to traditional teletherapy. ShareWell offers a unique online environment where individuals can find healing, connection and empowerment. Unlike conventional therapy, ShareWell group support is facilitated by peers who share similar life journeys, fostering a deeper, more empathetic bond. The company provides affordable access to mental health care through a free basic membership and a paid annual membership priced at less than the cost of a single therapy session.
Through a presence in more than 1,000 high schools, colleges and communities, and with a wide-reaching public audience, Active Minds is creating communities of support and saving lives. Founded in 2003 by Alison Malmon after the tragic suicide of her brother, Brian, Active Minds is dedicated to supporting a new generation in ending the silence, helping to make mental health as highly valued as physical health. Through its many programs, Active Minds is changing social norms and behaviors related to mental health across the country.
For more information on ShareWell and how to support LGBTQIA+ youth, visit www.sharewellnow.com/activeminds.
ShareWell is the first peer-to-peer support platform providing an affordable and accessible solution to the mental health crisis. The company connects everyday people for mutual support and healing in a safe, online environment. Through unlimited access to live support groups and a digital community platform, ShareWell’s vision is to create a world where everyone has access to the support they need when they need it. The company was launched in October 2021 and was founded by CeCe Cheng, a former venture capitalist, startup executive and executive coach. To learn more about ShareWell, visit www.sharewellnow.com.
About Active Minds:
Active Minds (www.activeminds.org) is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization mobilizing youth and young adults to change the culture around mental health. Through our presence in more than 1,000 high schools, colleges, and communities, and with a wide-reaching public audience, Active Minds is creating communities of support and saving lives. Founded in 2003 by Alison Malmon after the tragic suicide of her brother, Brian, Active Minds is dedicated to supporting a new generation in ending the silence, helping to make mental health as highly valued as physical health. We approach our work with a racial equity lens and are committed to the continued process of being and becoming a more antiracist and inclusive organization. Through our many programs, we are changing social norms and behaviors related to mental health across the country.
BAM for ShareWell