Struggling with your mental health during COVID-19? Big White Wall is here to help

FREE mental health support is available to all Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston residents thanks to a partnership between the local NHS and Big White Wall.

With thousands of people having been urged to stay at home to protect their physical health due to COVID-19, it is understandable many may struggle with their mental health as a result. Therefore, NHS mental health leads in the locality are encouraging residents to utilise free resources such as Big White Wall.

Big White Wall, which is available at www.bigwhitewall.com, provides a clinically safe and anonymous online community providing peer to peer support, personal assessments and self-help courses for those who need it.

Janet Ince, Mental Health Lead, NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG and NHS Greater Preston CCG, said: “Social-distancing measures, such as the order to stay at home as much as possible, can cause stress, worry and feelings of isolation for many people. As the restrictions begin to ease, lots of people may also be feeling anxious about returning to normal life. Such feelings can negatively impact our mental health and wellbeing and in some cases this can lead to a mental health condition such as low mood, anxiety or depression.

“We need to continue to stay alert and to follow Government guidance to help control the virus and reduce the rate of infection.

“However, we are committed to supporting people with managing mental health and wellbeing in Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston by providing varied and high-quality services for them to access.

“Big White Wall provides an anonymous, open and safe space for people who are struggling with their mental health to express how they are feeling to a community of people who feel the same way, who can understand and support.

“The site hosts a range of resources to help including online courses and self-help guides, for example to help sleep, anxiety and worry.”

 

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Henry Jones, chief executive of Big White Wall, said: “We understand prolonged lockdown and social distancing measures put in place by the Government are taking a toll on everyone’s mental health, especially during the summer weather conditions.

"At Big White Wall we have seen activity and registrations across the service more than double, with 60 per cent of conversations over the past month discussing COVID-19. In response to the pandemic, we have expanded our clinical and on-duty teams to effectively moderate increased activity across our community and manage risk. We have also added additional relevant content and signposting across the service.

“If any Chorley, South Ribble or Greater Preston resident is experiencing heightened feelings of isolation, loneliness, stress or worry, I would encourage them to use Big White Wall for free to keep connected and receive support from our community. We can all help each other through these uncertain times.”

The Big White Wall is constantly monitored by ‘wall guides’ who are on hand 24/7 and will intervene if members seem particularly low and at risk and provide personal support on a one-to-one basis.

Big White Wall also offers members the opportunity to take online tests to measure their anxiety or depression levels to set goals and track their progress.

Online courses with health professionals covering things like sleep problems, stopping smoking and anger management are also available.

For more information or to sign up to Big White Wall quickly, anonymously and free of charge, visit www.bigwhitewall.com

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