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Online mental health support for Central Lancashire residents proving popular

An innovative mental health and wellbeing service in place across Preston, Chorley and South Ribble is proving to be a big hit with local people.

Big White Wall, an online mental health and wellbeing service commissioned by the NHS Greater Preston and Chorley and South Ribble clinical commissioning groups offers an anonymous and clinically moderated online community for residents to discuss their mental health.

With stigma around mental health issues reducing, more and more people are seeking help, and Big White Wall offers any of our residents (aged 16+) the help they need, instantly, anywhere they have an internet connection.

Henry Jones, CEO at Big White Wall, said: “We’re delighted to be rolling out Big White Wall for all residents in Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston. We’ve been working closely in partnership with the NHS in the area over the past five years to support over 3,600 with their mental health and hope to support many more in the months to come.

“Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston CCG are a fantastic example of how, by working together we can provide a safe, supportive and stigma free online environment that benefits those who have trouble accessing, using, and travelling to traditional in-person services. Whilst digital support will not be suitable for all, it will be a lifeline for many in the local area.”

Janet Ince, Mental Health Transformation Manager at the NHS Greater Preston and Chorley and South Ribble CCGs, added: “In response to identifying a requirement across Central Lancashire for a digital online mental health support network, the CCG is pleased to see that the uptake of this free service to our residents is ever increasing and with such positive feedback we are assured that this service is just what was wanted.”

The statistics below show just how integral this service is to supporting people:

• 9 out 10 members experienced a positive improvement in their wellbeing as a result of using Big White Wall. In a survey, Big White Wall explored a variety of aspects of wellbeing including feeling less isolated, increases to self-esteem, improvements to emotional health, better coping skills and decreases in levels of stress.

• Anonymity is a key component of Big White Wall, with over three quarters of members identifying this as an important factor in their ability to share their feelings.

• 77% of members said they could cope better with their work or college/uni responsibilities.

• Over two thirds of members reported that they used their GP less for their mental health after using Big White Wall

• A third of members said Big White Wall was their only source of support

If you are aged 16+ and living in Chorley, South Ribble or Greater Preston, you can join Big White Wall for free by going to www.bigwhitewall.com and entering your postcode.

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