What is Big White Wall?
Big White Wall is an online early intervention service for people in psychological distress. It can be accessed 24/7 and has staff (Wall Guides) who ensure the full engagement, safety and anonymity of all members.
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. According to members, one of the most important elements of the service is the ability to talk freely, whilst remaining completely anonymous.
What can people do on Big White Wall?
Big White Wall offers a range of therapeutic interventions including highly creative self-expression. For example, members use powerful images, drawings and words to make vibrant and expressive ‘bricks’ that are posted to The Wall where they can choose to share and discuss the underlying ‘story’ of their pictures and words.
Who can access Big White Wall and how much does it cost?
Anyone who is aged 16 or over, and who is experiencing emotional or psychological distress can log on to www.bigwhitewall.com and either join via their local NHS provider, if available in their area, or choose to join by paying a subscription of £24 per month. This service is available free of charge within the areas of East Lancashire, Chorley and South Ribble, Greater Preston and Fylde and Wyre and can be accessed by entering a postcode.
How does Big White Wall respond to people who are in danger of harming themselves or others?
Almost a quarter of BWW members have experienced suicidal thoughts and/or thoughts of self-harming. Wall Guides respond immediately when alerted to members who are at danger of self-harm by:
• checking whether they have already acted in a way that is harmful and strongly encourage them to contact emergency services of go to A&E if they have
• encouraging the member to talk about what they are feeling and what they think is causing the feelings
• listening empathetically and being present for the member – making it clear they are not going away
• checking whether they have anyone with them or close by that they can call to be with them
• exploring whether the member has had self-harming thoughts or behaviours previously and what did they do that helped
• exploring the type of things they find soothing e.g. music, hot non-alcoholic drinks, reading etc
• encouraging them to draw on the support of their peers/friends on BWW
• exploring whether they have sought or would like to see professional help in their local area
• encouraging the member to keep in touch
• keeping regular contact with the member to see how they are doing.
What impact does Big White Wall have?
The majority of BWW users were able to self-manage their mental wellbeing without recourse to further help. Others found BWW a helpful step to, or complementary with, other medical or therapeutic intervention.
For more information on any of these topics, contact firstname.lastname@example.org