The TalkLife Story
How did TalkLife get started?
TalkLife was created in 2012 when Jamie Druitt, having gone through his own battles, noticed there were few places to open up about mental health. The years that followed saw TalkLife evolve from a community where people from around the world could come together to share about the ups and downs of life to a sophisticated, award-winning, intelligent peer support platform spanning 125 countries and millions of users.
TalkLife exists as a company dedicated to providing a practical, user-focused and relevant service without clinical compromise. An organisation with impact at its core TalkLife is proud of its impact framework, focus on efficacy, and the unwavering pursuit of ensuring a mental health service that is available for anyone who needs it, without barriers to entry.
TalkLife has benefited from a team consisting of leading researchers from MIT, Harvard and Microsoft Research including Dr Eric Horvitz, Dr Karthik Dinakar and Professor Matthew Nock who built a world-first machine learning engine specific to mental health, suicide ideation and self-harm. This machine learning underpins the TalkLife platform enabling it to intelligently bring people together, safeguard in real-time at scale and launch personalised digital support interventions.
TalkLife, originally staffed in Australia by designer Jacob White and communications specialist Andrew Montessi, is now headed up at its UK headquarters by CEO Druitt, COO Jennifer Russell, a professional counsellor with a background in mental health research and suicide prevention and CFO Chris Frey who brings with him over a decade experience in startup finance. The team is supported by a further 37 global full-time staff across engineering, design, safeguarding and partnerships.
TalkLife offers a safe, supportive environment to open up about mental health and to get support, any time of the day or night wherever you are. With all the functionality of a social network combined with the clinical governance, safeguarding and escalation required to ensure a safe, impactful environment TalkLife is a place where people can feel comfortable talking about how life really is for them and not have to struggle alone.
TalkLife has not only grown a global community characterised by authenticity and support but has also created a volunteering programme supporting community members to develop their peer support skills, contribute to testing and building the community, contribute to moderation and benefit from ongoing training and support.
TalkLife has attracted some of the leading minds across mental health onto its advisory board which offers both clinical governance and a steer from decades of experience at the forefront of mental health provision and suicide prevention both online and offline.
As TalkLife has grown so has its ambitions for supporting research and development into suicide and self-harming behaviors online. The past two years have seen the company develop a research collaboration programme joining forces with Universities to support projects progressing research questions into key knowledge gaps with a specific focus on practical application.
This year has seen TalkLife launch its cutting-edge TalkCampus platform, designed specifically for students who currently live at campuses across the USA, UK, and Australia.