Peer support has a long history, both formally and informally. As applied to mental health support, “peer support” generally refers to the process by which individuals with lived experience of a mental health condition support others dealing with similar experiences (Ibrahim et al., 2020). This support can exist in the form of knowledge or resources, peer connection, or emotional support. Peer support can be informal support between friends, or more formal support, with employment of peer support workers (PSWs) in mental health services. PSSs as an aspect of mental health services go back several centuries (Shalaby & Agyapong, 2020) as a method of connecting those with shared experiences and fostering a sense of community and mutual understanding. Online peer support networks (PSNs) provide a uniquely accessible form of mental health support that can be utilized alongside other healthcare services to provide connection, informational resources, and a feeling of being less alone.
Other Parents Like Me launched during the COVID-19 pandemic to address a critical gap in the online peer support landscape: providing an online platform and virtual community that is designed to create a safe space for parents of children struggling with mental illness or substance use.