Taking therapy online with Big White Wall
To increase access to mental health support in Kirklees and Calderdale, the Trust is piloting an innovative, award-winning online therapy service known as Big White Wall.
Big White Wall is a website which uses online social networking to enable people to talk about their feelings, emotions and problems in a safe, non-judgemental and anonymous environment.
The online community of people experiencing conditions such as anxiety or stress help each other by sharing how they feel, while being supported and guided by trained professionals.
The pilot will involve 50 service users who are referred or self-refer to the Trust’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services in Kirklees and Calderdale. People who choose to receive support from Big White Wall will be able to access:
- One to one online therapy with experienced counsellors and therapists via webcam, audio or instant messaging.
- The website’s ‘Wall’, which allows service users to create a ‘brick’ in order to express themselves, then have the opportunity to discuss the story behind their design with the online community.
- Self-management materials and community peer support.
- Support from ‘Wall Guides’ who are required to be proactive in responding to users in crisis and maintain the ‘House Rules’ of the site in order to keep people safe.
Big White Wall, which is available 24/7 online and through a mobile app, also enables people to take assessments to track their progress and set goals, and connect with other members who are experiencing similar problems.
John Butler, IAPT manager, said: “Our IAPT service is all about helping people get quick and easy access to the best type of therapy for their individual needs – and by introducing an online service, it opens up more opportunities for people to get the help they need.
“Introducing Big White Wall as an extension of our services will lead to increased access through extended opening hours, meaning we can provide support and care to people when they need it most.”
Find out more about Big White Wall by visiting their website.