South West LHIN Sees Jump in Online Self-Help Peer Support Service: Big White Wall
London, ON – Hundreds of local residents within the South West LHIN have registered for Big White Wall since July: a self-directed online moderated peer support service that can help people manage their own mental health around the clock. (Watch promotional video here: Big White Wall)
Of the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), the South West LHIN is seeing the third highest uptake in new registrations. Interest is highest in courses entitled Manage Stress & Anxiety, Manage your Depression and Eat Healthy and Lose Weight. The biggest users are 24-34 year-olds followed closely behind by 16-24 year-olds.
“Studies have shown that young people are eager to adopt technology to manage their own health and the initial results for Big White Wall bear this out,” says Dr. Paul Gill, Clinical Digital Lead, South West LHIN. “We believe residents of the South West LHIN in general are open to using technology to manage their health and we are encouraged by the relatively broad participation in Big White Wall.”
While the online tool seems to cater to young people, participation is occurring across all age groups, except those greater than 75 years of age, and across all walks of life – students, full-time employees, part-time employees, caregivers, retirees, as well as those unemployed or unable to work.
“In the last decade, mental health visits to emergency rooms have jumped significantly, as have hospitalizations for depression, anxiety and eating disorders,” says Dr. Paul Gill. “More work needs to be done to intervene before people end up in the ER in crisis. The South West LHIN is reaching out to health care providers and the general public through social media, but we invite everyone to share and talk about Big White Wall.”
Residents of the South West LHIN can now access two free self-help psychotherapy services: Big White Wall and Bounce Back.
Big White Wall is an online peer support and self-management tool for people 16 years old and up. Online users have 24/7 access to guided support courses, can talk anonymously with other people about their emotions in a moderated chat room, or can display their feelings on a digital online art wall. Anyone can access the service at: www.bigwhitewall.ca
BounceBack is a telephone coaching program that is grounded in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Adults and youth can work with a coach during telephone sessions and go through workbooks on their own, at their own pace. To access BounceBack, please talk to your physician.
For more information:
South West LHIN