Big White wall is an online platform aimed at supporting individuals experiencing mental health challenges, including stress, depression and anxiety. Members can access the platform anonymously and talk to other site users who can offer support and encouragement about similar experiences.
Users can add images to a ‘community wall’ – for those that prefer to express themselves in a more artistic manner than simply describing their feelings. There are also online tests, which can be used to mark an individual’s progress, with regards to improving their mental health. ‘Self-help’ courses are also available, including; improving sleeping problems, stopping smoking and anger management.
There is a great function on the site where people can create their own ‘bricks’. These can be typed or drawn and different colours can be used, allowing students to express themselves however they see fit. The user can then name the brick and write a short description of it. Following this, they can decide whether to allow comments on their image, and whether to post the brick anonymously or under their username (which is also aimed to be anonymous). This is a great way to allow students to express themselves in ways other than simply writing down their feelings. It is a creative space for them to release their frustrations and thoughts in a structured and safe manner.
The ‘guided support’ tab on the website is also a really good feature that offers a useful service to its users. The courses are split into ‘available courses’ and ‘prescribed courses’, as well as a section to find the courses the user has already started. The programmes last between 2-8 weeks, with new activities being set each week. There are many courses available, including how to manage stress, anxiety and depression, overcoming PTSD, how to quit smoking, how to improve your mood and how to cope with grief and loss. The brilliant thing about these courses is that they are so varied, and yet, are likely to be applicable to many individuals. There is also a list of upcoming courses, and the date they will be released. This allows users to plan for future courses and feel reassured there are courses applicable to you.
There are also online tests available, as previously mentioned. These are designed for users to understand more about how they are feeling, and why, in order to start feeling better, and overcome the hurdles they still have to face. There are lots of different tests available, which can be searched for by topic, including; depression, anxiety and drug use. The amount of questions asked varies depending on the topic, ranging from around 9-25.
Finally, the site offers ‘myth buster’ articles about popular but often misconceived topics, such as OCD, as well as personal improvement articles for skills such as goal setting.
In my experience Big White Wall is an excellent idea and easily accessible for those experiencing mental health challenges. It is a supportive community with a wide range of functions to suit all users, to help them develop good wellbeing techniques and provide a safe space to express challenging thoughts and feelings.
Written by Bethany Williams, Level 3 Biomedial Science student
Please click here to visit the Advice Centre’s Wellbeing pages where you can find lots of information about wellbeing support available to you, including a handy Big White Wall user guide. If you would like to speak confidentially to an Advisor about a welfare or wellbeing issue then please contact [email protected] to arrange an appointment.