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SOURCE Big White Wall
Multi-Award Winning Digital Behavioral Health and Well-Being Service for People in Psychological Distress Makes U.S. Debut
WASHINGTON, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Big White Wall (BWW), a 24/7 digital behavioral health and well-being service, provides a clinically-supported, safe and secure online collaborative platform, with guidance from experienced facilitators or "guides," for individuals 18 and above where they are empowered to improve their psychological and emotional well-being.
First launched in the United Kingdom in October 2007, Big White Wall was established to help individuals get support, take control and feel better, by creating an anonymous and safe space to share and access personalized pathways to recovery via a supportive online community and proactive self-management services, facilitated by experienced guides.
"What sets Big White Wall apart is the way it combines social networking principles with a choice of evidence based self-help interventions offered by BWW and trusted third parties to provide personalized support and recovery pathways," said BWW Founder and CEO Jen Hyatt. "By doing this in a way that provides the utmost respect for and protection of an individual's privacy, it addresses concerns over the initial stigma associated with individuals seeking help for behavioral health problems while also broadening access."
Big White Wall has a large peer support community that, at present, primarily is made up of members from the UK. As Big White Wall builds its community in the U.S., it is offering new members three months free membership. New members will have until July 31, 2014 to join and receive three months free membership.
In 2013, Big White Wall was named a High Impact Innovation by the UK National Health Service, an accolade reserved for only the best new health initiatives. In 2014, Big White Wall was further lauded as the best eHealth solution developed by an SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprise) across the whole of the European Union.
Big White Wall offers a range of proactive behavioral health self-management support services, including highly creative self-expression. In the service's signature offering, members use powerful images, drawings and words to make vibrant and expressive "bricks" that are posted to the Big White Wall, where they can choose to share and discuss the underlying "story" of their pictures and words in an anonymous, peer-supported setting.
Other anonymous behavioral health support services include:
To ensure the safety, engagement and anonymity of its members, BWW employs a team of Wall Guides (facilitators), who are charged with monitoring and reviewing all new content generated by members on the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"With an ever-increasing need for behavioral health services and no increase in the size of the workforce equipped to provide them, Big White Wall has proven to be a crucial behavioral health support option, successfully augmenting existing services," said Hyatt. "And by providing an environment in which members feel safe and supported while retaining their anonymity, it has the unique ability to appeal to the many people-an estimated 50 percent of all persons with behavioral health conditions--who will never go in person to visit a health professional for fear of the stigma."
With over 20,000 members in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and a host of accolades and commendations, the Big White Wall has seen encouraging results from past and present members. An independent review of BWW found that 95 percent of members reported one or more improvements in well-being, 80 percent reported self-managing their psychological distress, and 73 percent disclosed a significant personal issue for the first time. During a pilot period of just three months, about 50 percent of members showed a significant improvement in symptoms, with an average 30 percent reduction in depressive symptoms and 34 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms.
Given its ability to enhance population based behavioral health through this evidence based online support pathway, BWW's arrival in the States couldn't come at a better time. In March 2014, the annual County Health Rankings and Roadmaps study (a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program) found an acute shortage of mental health care providers in some areas of the country.
"The arrival of Big White Wall in the U.S. reflects the growing practice of sharing high-value innovations across national boundaries, and the recognition that behavioral health is of paramount importance in meeting the needs of people with chronic conditions of all types," said Dr. Molly Joel Coye, Chief Innovation Officer for UCLA Health System and Chair of Big White Wall's Board of Directors. "BWW encourages people to take a larger role in their own care, by enabling them to take proactive steps and providing them with enhanced choice and personalized services, while protecting their privacy. And it does all of this within the scalable, and critical, context of building community and connectedness as integral features of mental wellbeing."
For Founder and CEO Jen Hyatt, an award-winning social entrepreneur based in the UK, Big White Wall is the latest in a series of successful social purpose ventures in over twenty countries. Hyatt has received numerous honors and awards for her work, and has been published widely. In 2013, she was recognized by the Health Service Journal as one of the top 50 innovators in healthcare, and one of 14 'Women to Watch in 2014' by Disruptive Women in Health Care. When Hyatt founded BWW in 2007, it was the world's first online community for improving emotional health.
For more information about the Big White Wall visit http://www.bigwhitewall.us.
To arrange an interview with Founder and CEO Jen Hyatt, please contact Robin Strongin.
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