Bebo today announces the launch of a new online platform, Be Well, which provides its community with a central source of information, support and advice on issues relating to mental health, social care and wellbeing.
Bebo is the first social network to create an online resource area of this kind. Be Well is accessible to Bebo's 12 million-plus unique users in the UK and Ireland; it aims to provide the community with access to independent, expert advice from support organisations on a broad range of issues.
Crucially, the initial development of this platform is being supported by the Technology for Well Being Good Practice Policy Group which is comprised of representatives from support service providers, the internet industry, central governments and academia.
Be Well is accessed via http://www.bebo.com/bewell
Dr Rachel O'Connell, chief safety officer, Bebo said: "We recognise that our community socialises online and appreciates easy access to support services from within Bebo which may not be as readily accessible in the real world. The Be Well approach is a natural progression to best support a community that spends more time online than ever before."
Bebo is working in partnership with 12 initial member organisations to use Be Well to provide specialist advice and support on their areas of expertise to the Bebo community. At launch, the organisations participating in Be Well include: Samaritans, ChildLine, Mencap, and Beatbullying.
Be Well has initiated in the UK and Ireland, but will grow to include partner organisations from across the globe. Bebo is actively seeking to extend the number of partnerships to make Be Well as comprehensive as possible for the community it serves.
Be Well is accessible to users via a thumbnail on the main Bebo homepage, ensuring that awareness of the initiative is made prominent across the network's community.
Anthony Langan, public affairs, Samaritans, said: "Our partnership with Bebo's Be Well platform enables Samaritans to engage with a key target audience of people aged between 15 and 24, one of the most 'at risk' groups. We believe that this partnership will make a significant difference and we hope to add extensions to this service as the technology progresses."
Dr. Rachel O'Connell, chief safety officer, Bebo, concludes: "People can really benefit from expert advice at certain points in their lives. Be Well aims to ensure that these services are easily accessible to the Bebo community. We're encouraged by the positive response from both the Bebo community and support providers to this initiative."
Initial Be Well platform members
** Spun Out www.bebo.com/spunout
** Beatbullying www.bebo.com/beatbullying
** Mencap www.bebo.com/mencap
** The CARI Foundation www.bebo.com/carifoundation
** Samaritans www.bebo.com/samaritans
** Beat www.bebo.com/b-eat
** ChildLine www.bebo.com/childline
** Marie Stopes International UK www.bebo.com/mariestopes
** Be Better: NHS www.bebo.com/be-better
** The Site www.bebo.com/thesite
** Bodywhys www.bebo.com/bodywhys
** Drugs Awareness Programme www.bebo.com/dapireland
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