Giving a side-by-side approach to share with others


Mind has created Side by Side - an online community to connect with someone over shared experiences.  

They are providing anyone experiencing a mental health problem a safe place to listen, share and be heard.

Key guidance

Provide different ways users can interact; such as posting, commenting, private messaging, bio and interests, and tags and filters.

Have community guidelines visible on your site. These are useful to help everyone feel welcome and comfortable and for everyone to know the rules and expected behaviour.

When moderating the conversations, it is important to make it clear to the user that the conversation is being moderated and the times during the day when you have moderators. 

Reassure the user that what they share is confidential.


  • Since Side by Side is not a crisis service, they ask all members to use the community safely and reach out for other forms of support if they think they might need urgent help. 

  • Side by Side is moderated daily from 8.30am to midnight. Which means that there is a window of unmoderated time where users could potentially need additional help or post with no responses. 

  • Users are allowed to share thoughts and feelings around self-harm, which might upset others. However, they are asked to avoid sharing graphic descriptions or details about self-harm methods. 

  • Although what is shared in the platform is confidential, if a user is at risk of serious harm, an agency or organisation will be contacted to safeguard the user.

Where can I find this?

Side by Side webpage