Auckland DHBFriday 02 November 2012, 4:01PM
Media release from Auckland DHB
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
"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
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
"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
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
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