Residents in Fylde and Wyre now have access to a free, online mental health and wellbeing service courtesy of NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The CCG has this month commissioned Big White Wall to provide safe, anonymous online mental health and emotional wellbeing support for anyone over the age of 16.

Big White Wall provides a supportive, online community to give help when you’re feeling down. A choice of safe therapeutic services is accessible online; these include Talkabouts, where members can talk to others in the Big White Wall community who share similar experiences, and creative art and writing therapies which can help to put difficult feelings into words. Members can vent and express how they feel in images by making ‘Bricks’ on ‘The Wall’. In addition a wide range of self-help material is available to users. So anyone who may be struggling can get support at a time that suits them, from the comfort of their own home.

Dr Kath Greenwood, a GP and the CCG’s clinical lead for mental health, said: “We felt Big White Wall could help to reach those people in our communities who find it difficult to talk about their problems. It offers people the benefit of being able to access safe, anonymous support to share what’s troubling them, whenever they need it. Having that support when people reach a low point is vital.

“Improving access to mental health services is one of our key priorities as commissioners of health services and Big White Wall has demonstrated excellent patient outcomes; nine out of 10 people who access Big White Wall say they feel better as a result.”

It’s a fact that one in four of us will experience anxiety, depression or other common mental health problem during our lives. We also know that talking about it can be difficult. But people no longer have to struggle alone. Whether you’re dealing with a mental health issue or just feel burdened by everyday worries or concerns, Big White Wall provides safe, anonymous online support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Big White Wall has already helped more than 14,000 people, including thousands from the UK armed forces community, and is supported by the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Health and Help for Heroes.

Big White Wall is free to join at www.bigwhitewall.com, you just simply need access to the internet and have a Fylde or Wyre postcode to join.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

About Big White Wall

bigwhitewall.com is a digital mental health and wellbeing service that has been designated a High Impact Innovation by the NHS. It places people at the centre of their own care and delivers personalised pathways to recovery through a range of safe therapeutic services available via mobile, tablet and PC. BWW is professionally staffed 24/7, and free to 27% of the UK adult population, including all UK serving personnel, veterans, and their families. It is expanding internationally, including into the US in 2014.

Big White Wall’s services include:

  1. MEter: a self-assessment tool for mental health and wellbeing, geared towards individual use or use in tandem with a clinician. This tool will enable people to measure their mental health and wellbeing and look at an interactive picture of their ‘whole self’. This will enable people to identify ‘first step’ goals to building better mental health and wellbeing, track their progress and any changes, and see interrelations between their mental health and wellbeing. (Launching late 2014)
  2. SupportNetwork: 24/7, safe, anonymous mental health support with trained counsellors (called Wall Guides) online and on-call at all times, who facilitate and moderate the service 24/7. The SupportNetwork includes fully moderated peer support in community, groups and 1:1, a range of self-help resources, information, and “brick-making” and “talkabouts” (visual and verbal self-expression/peer support)
  3. Guided Support: Modular programmes, for groups or individuals, designed to address various mental and physical/behavioural health issues such as depression, anxiety, smoking cessation and weight management
  4. Live Support/LiveTherapy: Online synchronous 1:1 therapy using audio, webcam and instant messaging, via a secure platform. Patients can choose a therapist from BWW’s experienced therapist pool, or service providers can plug in their own clinicians via a white-label Live Support platform.

One Big White Wall member said: “I feel that the support given by BWW is fantastic. You are not judged and you can be yourself. Most of us are very good at hiding our feelings. This is the only place I have felt comfortable in expressing myself.”

How Big White Wall has helped others

  • 73% of members talk about an issue for the first time on Big White Wall
  • 95% of members feel better as a result of using Big White Wall

Support Big White Wall on Facebook now www.facebook.com/bigwhitewall and follow via Twitter @bigwhitewall1

Big White Wall – background

BWW operates within a governance framework jointly developed with clinicians at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, and has trained staff online at all times who facilitate and moderate the service. Big White Wall is a community of people who are experiencing common mental health problems who are supported to self-manage their own mental health.

Big White Wall has supported over 18,000 people to date and has been commissioned by Clinical Commissioning Groups, the Department of Health, Help for Heroes, employers and many others to reach thousands more.

Big White Wall’s awards include: NHS High Impact Innovation – Digital First; Best eHealth solution developed by an EU SME 2014; HSJ top 50 healthcare innovators 2013 – awarded to Jen Hyatt, BWW CEO; Nominet 100 2013 – Most inspiring social tech ventures in the world; Finalist – Innovation in Mental Health, HSJ Awards 2013; Mind Media Awards 2012, The Mark Hanson Digital Media Award – Finalist; Guardian Public Services Awards 2010 – Winner ‘Transformation Award’; eGovernment National Awards – Finalist; HSJ Awards 2010, Innovation in Mental Health – Finalist ; NHS Health and Social Care Awards, Mental Health and Wellbeing 2010 – Finalist; National eWell-Being Awards 2010 – Finalist; Media Guardian Award 2009 for Innovation in Community Engagement – Winner