On the internet

From the mid-1990s, the internet opened up a new method of contacting people.  It revolutionised the whole concept of communication, just as radio and television had done earlier in the century.  The internet provides the opportunity to reach thousands (or even millions) of people, provides access to an unlimited number of new resources, and gives individuals an opportunity to look for information or support when and where they want it.  The internet has created a platform where people can communicate, share and learn with other members of communities who they cannot meet in ‘real life’.


If used in health promotion, the internet turns around the traditional concept where experts go out and inform their target group.  It gives any individual with access to a computer direct access to information and support from friends, peers and colleagues from all over the globe.

The internet provides a powerful additional health promotion tool that can increase coverage, impact and increases the involvement of the end-user.  Or to put it simply, it puts the user in control.




The whole concept of health promotion and peer involvement is still under development.  The technological opportunities are way more advanced than the actual implementation of new information and communication technologies in health and community work right now.  But there are rapid developments.

Prevention strategies have recently made use of the internet to establish low-threshold contact with young people who take drugs or for those who might be considering taking drugs.   Many internet websites provide advice on safer nightlife, safer sex, road traffic risks, healthy diets, and so on.  Online support is also provided to help people reduce or stop drug-taking or to refer them to local help services.  Increasingly, such internet sites include interactive modules for the self-assessment of personal health risks.

Peer involvement through the internet is relatively underdeveloped.  However, the massive use of social media, reaching far away corners deep into  communities, and at the same time connecting people all over the globe, shows the enormous potential of the internet in enhancing meaningful peer involvement.

This website is an initial step in the creation of a online source of information, expertise and support on peer involvement.