Lydia Henshaw, PhD, saw an opportunity to help teens and young adults get the mental health services they need to build self-confidence and resilience in a digital, connected way. In 2019, she founded Resolv (formerly Moxie Girl), an accessible, action-oriented online platform that fosters personal connection with real, relatable near-peer mentors. Originally targeted to young people who identify as female, Resolv expanded their services to cover all genders during the pandemic.
Peer support, Lydia said, is a method of care that is growing in popularity across the US. Think back to when you were a teen. Whose advice was more effective: that of your parent, who sympathized about going through similar struggles “at your age” with a paternalistic note they couldn’t quite shake from their voice? Or that of your peer, who went through the same thing a couple of months or years ago?
“Peer support is a really strong method of recovery where you have someone who has been through the same trauma or been through the same different co-occurring diagnoses, and they are on the side of recovery,” she explained in her Navigating Forward podcast episode
“That person is reaching their arm through the chasm to the person who is in the process of recovering or working through some of these disorders. And their role is to just walk by their side and help that person—instill hope, instill insight into how different paths of recovery can come to be. Help them set goals. Serve as a mentor. Really just be a presence in their life as they go through the journey.”
That all sounds great—but wouldn’t it be better to get that support in real life, as opposed to online? Not necessarily.“There’s a greater willingness to try telehealth solutions,” Lydia explained. “People are more likely to stick with a regimen or check back in for appointments because you don’t have the travel time or the investment to connect with doctors, to get support.” For young people who are already accustomed to connecting online, there’s even less friction.