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Big White Wall Launched

ADHB Media Release
November 1, 2012
Online mental health service a Kiwi first

ADHB has become the first health organisation in New Zealand to roll-out a free online self-help service aimed at improving emotional wellbeing for people in need.

Known as Big White Wall, the service is aimed at people aged 16-plus who are experiencing a mild-to-moderate mental health problem. It has helped 8500 people in the UK to date.

“Users can log on and access the service at any time, 24 hours-a-day, allowing self-help, peer support and further help where needed,” said Robert Ford, ADHB Planning and Funding Manager for Mental Health and Addictions.

“This is an innovative way of reaching out to help people in need of support and ADHB is proud to be leading the way for our community.

“The service provides safe, anonymous support and operates on social media principles allowing online users to have control over how much information they share and with whom.

“Big White Wall fosters a supportive online environment focusing on recovery and wellness that allows people having a tough time to befriend others with common experiences without fear of stigma.”

The service provides an early intervention system as soon as an issue arises and can also be used as a support for people with severe mental illness to keep them out of hospital.

It offers a range of clinically-informed interventions to improve mental wellbeing and is staffed by mental health professionals who ensure the full engagement, safety and anonymity of members.

“One-in-four of us will experience anxiety, depression or other common mental health problems during our lives,” Mr Ford said.

“It can be hard to talk about worries or concerns, usually for fear of what others may think, so asking for help can be difficult. Now there is an option available for people within the ADHB healthcare population area who may not yet feel ready to make a formal appointment with a mental health service.”

People can self-refer if they have a post code within the ADHB area or can be referred by GPs, clinical services or relevant non-government organisations.

Activities and services include:

Talkabouts: Members can talk to others in the Big White Wall community who share similar experiences. They can also engage with Wall Guides (counsellors), who are online at all times to ensure everyone is safe on Big White Wall.

Distress tests: Members can take ‘distress tests’; find out more about topics ranging from anxiety and depression, to coping with redundancy and alcohol problems. They can also find out more to help them understand their worries and concerns and how to move forward.

Creative art and writing therapies: It can sometimes be difficult putting feelings into words. Members can vent and express how they feel in images by making ‘Bricks’ on The Wall.

For more information, go to www.bigwhitewall.com


For further information, please contact Robert Ford on 021 985 965.