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Health news - Online mental health support launches for young people in Bury

News   •   May 24, 2016 11:15 BST

It’s estimated that 1 in 10 young people will experience a mental health issue such as anxiety or depression.

Young people from Bury going through a tough time or who need someone to talk to will soon be able to access anonymous online support for free through the digital mental health service known as Big White Wall.

The free online service will be available from June 2016 to all young people from Bury aged 16 to 25.

Big White Wall provides a supportive, anonymous online community where members can share experiences and express themselves in words and images which members create themselves in the form of ‘bricks’. There is also a library of articles, tips and courses accessible online via Big White Wall and trained counsellors are available 24/7 to offer support and keep the community safe.

Funded by NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) initially for 12 months, Big White Wall is completely anonymous, and members create a user name which does not identify them in any way. This can help reduce stigma and encourage young people to open up. In fact, just under half of young people using Big White Wall (from other areas) reported sharing an issue troubling them for the first time.

Dr. Jeff Schryer, local GP and Mental Health Lead for NHS Bury CCG, said: “This is a really exciting initiative that we were keen to get on board with after seeing its success in another area. Traditionally mental health and wellbeing guidance and support has been provided face to face. Big White Wall aims to complement this by providing an anonymous online forum, where it is safe to share thoughts, feelings and views with other young people with trained wall guides available 24/7 to keep the online community safe.”

“I’m sure this online option will prove popular with the younger generation and provide them with a positive outlet to share the way they feel and in turn helping them start to take control and get the support they need to feel better.”

Young people from Bury can join Big White Wall for free from 1st June by entering their postcode at www.bigwhitewall.com