Newly launched Buddys is the first of its kind: a mobile app providing a social media experience that connects users seeking peer support on important life challenges ranging from Family & Parenting, Loss of a Loved One, Medical Issues, Mental Health, or Relationships. Buddys is free to everyone.
Birmingham native James Morgan created Buddys to solve a problem he experienced in his own life and to disrupt the peer-to-peer support and mental health space. In 2017, James and his wife, Caitie, unexpectedly lost their one-year-old son, James, who “big James” affectionately described as his “little buddy.” Just six years earlier, they had lost Caitie’s father, Buddy Parsons, to cancer. These losses were devastating to the Morgans and they sought various forms of therapy to cope with their overwhelming grief. One of the things that gave them solace was connecting with another couple who had also lost a young son unexpectedly and without explanation. “They were a lifeline in a way that was not possible to find in traditional therapy, because they understood the pain our hearts were in. Seeing how they had found joy again and having them to talk through what we were experiencing gave us encouragement that no one else could have at the time,” says James.
Driven by a passion to honor the irreplaceable “Buddys” in his life, James set out to give others the same connective opportunity for healing he had experienced. The idea was an application that would instantly connect people with shared life journeys who otherwise would have no way to find each other. Buddys’ mission is to provide a safe and secure mobile network for users to connect and support one another during life challenges. Their hope is that the app can provide healing connectivity to millions of people experiencing similar journeys — whether they are next door or across the country — in a way that meets each person’s unique needs. Users can choose to remain anonymous, join private one-to-one messages, participate in small group forums, and join topic-specific communities — all in a way to be heard and understood.
Here’s how it works: A new Buddys user answers a few onboarding questions and builds their profile. Buddys uses its proprietary technology to search for other similar users and suggests connections based on each user’s story. Users can also search to find specific users or search the entire platform based on specific criteria. Buddys not only helps the person directly affected, it gives those who have survived, healed, or recovered a way to give back, to share the ways they found hope and healing. Through shared connections, everyone can realize that experiencing life challenges and needing help is not only acceptable to talk about but can be a powerful tool in healing.
“Ultimately, we hope to give our members that ability to find peace and joy in their lives, knowing they are not alone in this world. We all need one another, and it is better to go through life together. Buddys connects us all in a new and exciting way, and we hope everyone can experience it together,” says James.
Regardless of where you are on your journey to find healing and growth, the Buddys community can serve as a platform to improve your health and overall well-being. Buddys aims to facilitate meaningful connection and remove any stigmas associated with mental health and personal struggle. It’s social media at its best. Rather than highlight reels that mask reality or posts that politicize and divide, Buddys offers meaningful connection that aims to bring us together and lift us up.