FAQ’s

We're passionate about making a difference and want to make sure you're experience is the best it can be. Please explore our FAQs below so that you can make the Wall your own.

In Crisis?

This site is not intended for individuals in an emergency. If you are in a life-threatening situation, please immediately dial your country's emergency number available here, or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department.

Big White Wall (BWW) is a digital mental health support service which is available online, 24/7, and is completely anonymous so you can express yourself freely and openly. Professionally trained Wall Guides monitor the community to ensure the safety and anonymity of all members. In addition to BWW’s online community, you will have access to a wealth of useful resources and can work through tailored self-help courses covering topics such as anxiety, sleep, weight management, depression and many more.
Big White Wall offers a range of activities that allow you to work through what's troubling you. Access an anonymous community of support available from members 24/7. Share your thoughts and join a Talkabout alongside fellow members to share and discuss what's on your mind, gain support and advice. You can do this with the whole community or form your own groups or one-to-one chats. Take self-assessments to help you understand more about yourself. Make a Brick to express yourself and your feelings creatively through drawing or by uploading your own images. Find lots of information in Resources which can help you understand more about how you are feeling, set goals and track your progress. Make friends anonymously so you can give and receive support from others like you. Join our Courses with others to learn how to manage everything from depression and anxiety to improving your problem solving and learning to stop procrastinating.
Anyone who is aged 16 and over.
Big White Wall is freely available through several different means. All service personnel, veterans and their family members can access Big White Wall for free through our partnership with the Ministry of Defence and NHS England. The service is commissioned widely across the UK by the NHS, councils and health insurance providers. You may also be able to freely access Big White Wall through your employer, university or college. There is currently no option for an individual paid subscription for Big White Wall.
You can connect with the BWW community wherever and whenever you want from a mobile device simply by visiting our mobile-friendly website at bigwhitewall.com. NB: Our service requires an internet connection and some features, such as Live Therapy, should only be used on a desktop or laptop computer. For ease of use you may want to create a shortcut to Big White Wall on your mobile device. Please find step-by-step instructions below. iPhone, iPad: Launch the Safari browser on Apple’s iOS and navigate to the Big White Wall website. Tap the Share button on the browser’s toolbar — that’s the rectangle with an arrow pointing upward. It’s on the bar at the top of the screen on an iPad, and on the bar at the bottom of the screen on an iPhone or iPod Touch. Tap the Add to Home Screen icon in the Share menu. You’ll be prompted to name the shortcut before tapping the Add button. The shortcut can be dragged around and placed anywhere, including in app folders — just like a normal app icon. Android: Launch Chrome for Android and navigate to the Big White Wall website. Tap the menu button and tap Add to homescreen. You’ll be able to enter a name for the shortcut and then Chrome will add it to your home screen. The icon will appear on your home screen like any other app shortcut or widget, so you can drag it around and put it wherever you like. Chrome for Android loads the website as a “web app” when you tap the icon, so it will get its own entry in the app switcher and won’t have any browser interface getting in the way.
Anything that is causing people emotional distress. This can include anxiety, stress, feeling low, depression, feeling out of control and trauma to name a few. All of these may be triggered by life events such as the loss of a loved one, relationship breakdowns, employment related issues, financial crisis, sexuality, isolation, alcohol or drug-related problems.
We take abuse on our service very seriously. There is a system of watchwords that signal inappropriate behaviour or language use, which are immediately flagged to a Wall Guide. Secondly, members can report unwanted behaviour through our simple process. Members can click on the 'Report post' button on many pages of the website to report abuse of the system.An alert is then sent to a team member from BWW, for example a Wall Guide. For more information about what constitutes inappropriate behaviour on BWW, please read our House Rules.
The BWW community is the main hub of support as individuals share their stories and experiences, engaging in conversations with other members of the community. Our Wall Guides are trained professionals whose job is to keep our members safe and help them feel they are not alone. They are required to be proactive in responding to BWW members who are in crisis and provide them with support, which may involve helping them to seek local assistance from their doctor or therapist. A key requirement of Wall Guides work is to ensure that the anonymity of members is maintained and to report any incidence of posts that may seem to reveal the real identity of a member. This requires that all comments, and all images are monitored to ensure that they conform to BWW House Rules. Wall Guides are required to model the behaviour that Big White Wall wants members to adopt within the community. This includes being welcoming towards new members, providing comments that are non-judgemental and respectful while encouraging others to express their troubles, and ensuring that BWW remains a safe space.
Big White Wall is available through several different routes. You may have received an email confirmation from your healthcare provider, granting you access - check your email inbox for a message from Big White Wall. BWW access is often provided through self-referral. All service personnel, veterans and their family members can access Big White Wall through our Armed Forces Route, and the service is commissioned widely across the UK by the NHS, Local Authorities, Universities and Colleges. Visit our ‘Join us’ page to find the different ways you may be eligible for Big White Wall.
Big White Wall is anonymous. This allows you the freedom to share honestly and openly. When choosing a username, you will need to make sure that no one will be able to identify you. For example, avoid pet names, childhood nicknames or names that you may use on other networks or sites. Wall Guides may change your username if they feel it may give away your identity. If this happens, you will be notified by an email giving you a link to a private message with a Wall Guide, where you can ask them to change it to something more memorable.
Upon joining you are given a profile picture, a unique image that is assigned to you and often displayed on Big White Wall with your username. It’s not possible to alter your profile picture at present. We are currently building more options for members to manage their profile pictures.
To begin a search on Big White Wall you can click the magnifying glass icon which will bring up a general search of Big White Wall. If you type one or more keywords in the search box, a list of related bricks, Talkabouts, and 'Resources' articles will appear. You can narrow your search further by clicking on one of the three types of content underneath the search bar, depending on whether you are interested in looking at only Resources, Bricks or Talkabouts. Simply toggle the filters to change the search results.
To find a member with whom you are already friends, simply click on the friends icon (this looks like two people) and find their username. To search for a member on Big White Wall who you are not already friends with, you can go to your messages by clicking on the speech bubble icon. When you click the ‘Send Message’ button on the left a search box comes up allowing you to search all members on the site by their username. When you click on their username it will take you to a message that is being sent to them. Our Wall Guides are able to see any messages that you send. If you wish to see their profile you can click on their username and add them as a friend. They will need to accept your request before you can see their profile. If you are looking for a member who you can't remember the name of, but you wish to send a friend request, you can search Big White Wall for a brick or talkabout you remember them making. To find new friends on Big White Wall simply browse the ‘Community’.
By clicking ‘Community’ on the Big White Wall homepage you will be able to see all posts that have been made by our members on Big White Wall in a scrolling feed. Posts are sorted from newest to oldest and so the most recent posts will be displayed at the top of the feed. The community tab has both talkabouts (our text based posts) and bricks (our drawing based posts) all in the same place with a rounded square icon for a brick and circle icon for a talkabout. To create a new post yourself you can click the ‘Create post’ button on the right of the page. Sorting Posts Posts can be sorted by a few other variables. If you would like to view only bricks or only Talkabouts you can change the type of posts being displayed by filtering using the ‘type of post’ option and selecting an item in the drop down menu. You can also search posts by categories using a similar drop down menu when you filter using the ‘categories’ option. To view more than the popular categories simply click show all. Multiple categories can be selected and the posts displayed are still sorted with the most recent at the top. Upon our redevelopment at the start of 2020 an algorithm automatically generated categories for all pre-existing content. If you feel a post has been miscategorised then please contact a member of our Wall Guide Team by clicking ‘Ask a Wall Guide’ and they should be able to change this for you. Finally the community page can also display posts that are personal to you. When you first load the Community tab all posts are displayed. If you click on ‘My posts’ then you can see only posts that you have created, if you click on ‘Groups’ you can see Group Talkabouts you are part of and if you click on ‘Starred’ you can see any posts you have saved by starring them. You can no longer view all of our bricks in ‘The Wall’ format. Interacting with Posts If you click a post then you can view it in full, add a comment to it and find out who the creator was. Comments on regular Talkabouts and bricks can be viewed by the whole community and so any comments you make are public. You have the option to star, toggle notifications or report a post. When you select any of these options no public notification is generated and only you and our Wall Guides can monitor these activities.
You can create a brick by clicking on 'Community' on the Big White Wall homepage. Click the 'Create Post' button on the right of the page and click ‘Create Brick’ open the brick drawing tool. First, give your brick a title and then, you have three ways to express what you want to say. Text tool - Click on the ‘Text’ option on the left hand menu. You can select your font, size, alignment and colour for typing. Type in the text you want in the box that appears and edit the text formatting using the toolbar on the bottom of the screen and the colours on the right hand side. For the option of a white colour you can scroll down on the colours toolbar. After writing you can click off of your text. When you click back on you will be given the option to move, scale and rotate. Double click on the text box to edit the text further. Once you are happy with your text you can click the tick in the bottom right to save it. If you would like to delete a text box ensure it is selected and click the bin icon. Drawing tool - Click on the paint brush or ‘shape’ icon on the left hand menu. You can change the brush you are using with the buttons on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen and change the brush size with the slider. You can change the colour using the buttons on the right hand side of the screen. For the option of a white colour you can scroll down on the colours toolbar (this is useful for erasing mistakes). When you are happy with your drawing you can click the tick in the bottom right to ‘lock in’ your shape. If you would like to delete everything in your current session of drawing then click the bin icon. Image tool - Upload a photo or image of your choice, ensuring that you or others cannot be identified from it. Click on the ‘Image’ icon on the left hand menu and pick the picture you would like to upload from your own files. Your picture will now appear on the brick. You can now move, scale and rotate your image. Once you are happy with your image you can click the tick in the bottom right to save it. If you would like to delete the image ensure it is selected and click the bin icon. When you are happy with your brick there are few more things you need to do before you can publish the brick to the community. If you have not done so already then you need to give your brick a title. Select a category for your brick so other members can find it alongside other similar bricks. To find categories beyond the popular options select ‘Show All’. If you cannot find a category appropriate to your TA, there is a ‘General Chat’ option. In the ‘Tell us about your Brick section’ type in any text related to the brick. Sometimes it is an explanation of the image, a question and so on. This information is displayed publicly beneath your brick once it has been published. When you are ready click on ‘Post’ to publish your brick. All bricks are posted to the entire community on Big White Wall and this cannot be done so anonymously. Once a brick is posted other members can comment on your brick.
Currently we do not have an ‘undo’ feature for our ‘Create Brick’ tool. We are currently building more options for members to edit their bricks, which will include this undo function. In the meantime, we apologise for the inconvenience caused. Some content such as text boxes and images can be clicked on and deleted but others such as the paint tool cannot be. The option of painting in a white colour is available in the colours toolbar - this is useful for erasing mistakes made with the paint tool.
Currently we do not have an option to post bricks anonymously to our community. We are currently working to build this option, and it will be available soon. In the meantime, we apologise for the inconvenience caused.
You cannot send a brick to a specific member or groups of members as you can do in Talkabouts. All bricks are posted publicly and all members are able to see them.
Have you got issues or concerns that you want to share with others? You can express yourself using our Talkabout (TA) feature. Talkabout - You can view and join an existing conversation by clicking 'Community' on the Big White Wall homepage, then browsing through ongoing TA's. Or if none of the existing subjects seem to cover what you want to talk about click on the 'Create Post' button and start your own. Your Post Title should indicate what the TA will concentrate on. You can start a TA about a subject specific to your situation if you need objective points of view or just an empathetic ear to listen; for example, "Can anybody suggest coping strategies for anxiety?" You must add at least one ‘Category’ to the TA in the 'Categories’ menu. This means that members who are interested in similar subjects will be more aware of the new TA. If you cannot find a category appropriate to your TA, there is a ‘General Chat’ option. You can ‘show all’ to display a wider range of options. When you are satisfied with your TA, simply press the 'Post' button and you are all set. You can stay up to date with Talkabouts you are interested or involved in by opening the TA and clicking 'Turn on notifications'. These will then generate a notification in your toolbar whenever another member leaves a comment on the TA. Group Talkabout (GTA) To invite only specific members to participate in your Talkabout, click on the ’Community' button on the Big White Wall homepage which will give you the option to post a Group Talkabout. Group Talkabouts are only visible to those members invited by the creator. Once you have created a Group Talkabout you cannot add new members, so please ensure that you add all the members you wish to see your Group Talkabout when you post it.
To start a Message with another member: · Go to the member's profile page by clicking on their username. · Click on the 'Send Message' button and the message will be a private between you and the other member. Messages are not viewed by other members, but are still visible to the BWW Team View your Messages by using the icon on the homepage. The message icon looks like a square speech bubble, with three horizontal lines. Messages were previously called Personal Talkabouts (PTAs). Don’t worry, if you sent a message prior to our redevelopment in 2020, you can still find all your old PTAs in your ‘messages’ section. Message with a Wall Guide (WG) - If you have a problem or issue you feel unable to share in the community, you can start a private Message with a WG by clicking 'Ask a Wall Guide' in the lower right corner of every page. Find your messages by selecting the message icon from your toolbar and clicking on the tab at the top of the page.
Currently we do not have an option to add more members to a Group Talkabout. We are currently working to build this option, and it will be available soon. In the meantime, we apologise for the inconvenience caused.
Categories are tags or keywords which you add to your bricks and Talkabouts.These categories make it easier for others to find content relevant to them. When filters are used on the community page, your brick or TA will appear in the content displayed, alongside all other content with the same category. We have provided a number of categories for members to use. To find categories beyond the popular options, you may select ‘Show All’. If you cannot find a category appropriate to your TA, there is a ‘General Chat’ option. Currently there is no option available for members to add categories on Big White Wall, however if you have any suggestions for categories you’d like to see added, please contact us at theteam@bigwhitewall.com.
Big White Wall has available a wealth of resources on a variety of topics. You can access Resources through the main menu. Our series of articles are designed to help you understand more about some of the issues you may be facing and learn skills to help improve your wellbeing. You may wish to find a specific article quickly. To begin a search on Big White Wall you can click the magnifying glass icon which will bring up a general search of Big White Wall. To restrict your search to resources only, you can choose ‘Resources’ from the options presented at the top of the screen after you have completed your search.
Useful Stuff is now called Resources, and all of the content that was previously available still is. You can access Resources through the main menu. If you’re still having difficulty finding a particular resource, please ask a Wall Guide and our team will be happy to help.
There are several clinical tests to choose from to help you understand how you are feeling. These tests are private, which means that they may not be viewed by other members on Big White Wall (although they are visible to our Wall Guide team). To take an assessment: · Click on 'Resources' on the menu on the homepage. · Choose a questionnaire from the list of ‘Self assessments’ presented on this page. You may ‘view all’ to see a complete list. · When the assessment opens, select the appropriate level for each item on the list and press the 'Continue' button. · You will then be given a brief explanation of your score. It may suggest that you are showing signs of high stress and that you should contact your healthcare provider. Or it may suggest that your stress levels are currently low. · You will have the option to retake the assessment if you are not satisfied that you selected the correct options. · After you have taken the assessment, you may find it helpful to read the resources which are available on the same topic, which can help you to understand further, move forward and test out specific self-help skills. · You can go back and look at your results or take the assessment when your mood feels different. To do this, go to 'My Profile' from your homepage, by selecting your username / profile picture. You will be able to view all your previous self assessment scores.
There are two further tools you can use to track your wellbeing on Big White Wall. Both the ‘Journal’ and the ‘Goal setter’ can be found under our ‘Resources’ tab. You can navigate to this from the Big White Wall Homepage. Adding a journal entry When you select the ‘Journal’ from the ‘Resources’ tab you are taken to a page where you make private posts that no other member can view. When you make an entry to your journal it note the time and date of this entry. You can edit and delete old journal entries if you wish. Please not once an entry has been deleted there is no way to retrieve it. Setting a goal Select the ‘Goal setter’ tool from the ‘Resources’ page. Using the text fields below you can enter a goal and the reason why you would like to achieve this. You can also set a proposed completion date for your goal.Then click ‘Create goal’ Once a goal is created it appears beneath the Goal setter tool and so you can monitor it. Once you have completed your goal you can make a note of this by clicking the tick to make it green. Once a goal has been ticked it appears at the bottom of your list of goals Both your Journal and your Goal setter tool are private and cannot be viewed by any other member on Big White Wall. Both tools are, however, monitored by our team of Wall Guides to ensure the safety of our members on Big White Wall. You can also view your journal entries and goals from your profile page. To view this click on your Big White Wall profile picture / username and then select ‘My profile’.
What are ‘Courses’ on Big White Wall? On the Big White Wall we have a range of structured online courses available. Each course is divided into a number of chapters. Each of these chapters contains a general education about a specific topic. Some chapters also include a self-reflection exercise or task which you can complete in your ‘Journal’ if you wish. In most chapters, you will also learn a helpful skill. Our courses are all available to join at anytime and if you wish to revisit any of the previous chapters you can review them at your leisure. How can I join a Guided Support course? On the Big White Wall homepage you can click the ‘Courses’ tab to explore our available courses. When you click on a course, you are taken to a course overview which includes a brief synopsis of the course’s chapters so you will know what you can expect to see and do in the course. If you decide to join a course after reading the overview then you will need to take a self assessment. Click the button at the bottom of the Overview to ‘Take a self assessment. At the end of each chapter there is a ‘Next’ button to go to the next chapter. The ‘Back’ button returns to previous chapters if you wish to review your course progress. At any point you can click on the ‘Go to Course Talkabout’ and join a group Talkabout with other members who have taken your course. To return to your course you will need to go back on your browser, or find the course again from the ‘Courses’ menu. Can I take more than one course at a time? There is no limit on the number of courses you can join, but we recommend waiting until you have completed one before starting another. How do I know that courses work? Courses are designed to improve your coping skills and promote healthy behaviours. Taking the course with others has been shown to motivate members to complete the courses. Can I leave a course if I want to? You’re in control of what you do on Big White Wall. You can complete the activities at any time. If you do not wish to continue clicking through the chapters of the course you can simply leave. If you don’t like the course you don’t have to complete it. However, to get the full benefit, it is always best to try to complete it if you can. Some of the skills you learn may not seem helpful now, but may help you with issues that come up later. You can come back to a half completed course at any time you wish and also once you have completed a course you can revisit any of the chapters again, if you wish. How can I get help with Guided Support or ask question? Ask a Wall Guide if you have any questions about our courses.
Once you’ve joined a new course, you’ll be able to access it from the ‘Courses’ page at any time. Unfortunately if you joined a course prior to 2020, you may no longer be able to access your progress from this course. During our redevelopment in 2020, we made some improvements to all courses and to allow these changes to happen, it was necessary to switch off our old courses. We apologise for the inconvenience caused. Please know that there is an equivalent course for each of the old courses, and it has been re-formatted to give it an improved look.
You can talk to a Wall Guide at any time by clicking 'Ask a Wall Guide'. This will open a message between you and the Wall Guide. This message will not be public and only you and the Wall Guide will be able to view it.
To go to your Account settings page click on your Big White Wall profile picture /username. You can then select ‘My Account’. On your Account settings page you can change the following information: Email Address Country Timezone Password Email notification preferences Consent to share questionnaire results with your healthcare provider Responses to our registration questions For the following profile management tools you can ask a Wall Guide to change: Username Gender Ethnicity Date of birth To contact the Wall Guides click on the ‘Ask a Wall Guide’ button to send a private message to our Wall Guide Team. Change my mood: Go to the homepage Select 'How are you feeling today?' and choose one of the mood buttons.
There are a couple of options available for you to keep track of members’ posts in the community: Your own content If the Talkabout or Brick is your own, you may view it at any time. From the homepage, click on your Big White Wall profile profile picture / username. You can then select ‘My profile’ from the options. Here, you may view any Bricks or Talkabouts that you have created in the past. It’s possible to change the ‘view’ using the options at the top of this page, in order to view your content from the perspective of other members. ‘Starring’ posts The option to ‘star’ a post is displayed on all Bricks and Talkabouts. This will save the content so that you can access it later. To view all your ‘starred’ posts, choose ‘Community’ from the homepage and select the ‘Starred’ option from the tabs at the top of this page. Other members cannot see which posts you’ve starred. ‘Starring’ posts The option to ‘turn on notifications’ is also displayed on all Bricks and Talkabouts. This will allow you to receive an in-site notification each time another member makes a comment on this content. You may view these notifications by selecting the bell icon on your main menu. You may turn off notifications for any post at will - just choose ‘turn off notifications’.
BWW is only for adults 16 years and over. While we monitor for inappropriate content, our members are free to express their feelings about many issues that would be inappropriate for minors.
Many people dealing with adversity experience suicidal thoughts and/or thoughts of self-harming. Wall Guides respond immediately when alerted to members who are at danger of self-harm by: Checking whether they have already acted in a way that is harmful, and strongly encourage them to contact emergency services or their health care provider Encouraging the member to talk about what they are feeling and what they think is causing the feelings Listening empathetically and being present for the member, making it clear they are not going away Checking whether they have anyone with them or close by that they can call to be with them Explore whether the member has had self-harming thoughts or behaviors previously and what did they do that helped Exploring the type of things they find soothing i.e. music, reading etc. Encouraging them to draw on the support of their peers/friends on BWW Exploring whether they have sought or would like to see professional help in their local area Encouraging the member to keep in touch Keeping regular contact with the member to see how they are doing
When you join Big White Wall as a member, you agree to our Terms of use, which includes the House Rules. Your acceptance of these terms indicates your understanding of these rules and your confirmation that you are at least 16 years of age. Maintaining House Rules helps us to make sure that Big White Wall works well for the entire community. Violation of House Rules will result in a warning or, in some cases, a loss of membership. As a member, you are taking responsibility for your actions and behavior on Big White Wall. The rules below foster every member's ability to access the Wall for support, learning, and recovery in an anonymous and personal manner. It is important to remember that Big White Wall is a support for, not a replacement of, your life offline.
Big White Wall takes your safety very seriously and we would encourage you to do the same. Contact a Wall Guide through the 'Ask a Wall Guide' button if you are concerned about how another member is behaving with you or with other members - do not hesitate, better safe than sorry - Wall Guides will not identify that you have alerted them. Do not use real names or identifiable details about you - like where you live, your employer/college, family or friend's names - in the 'My Story' section of 'My Public Profile' or elsewhere. Do not upload identifiable photographs of yourself or others onto bricks or avatars. Do not share your login details including email and password and username with anyone including those who are and who are not members of Big White Wall such as friends or family. If you do not want anyone to know that you are using Big White Wall, access your account through a third party computer in a safe location and create a new email account to which only you know the login details. Do not use the real names or identifiable details about other people in your posts and bricks. Do not upload pictures of real people onto bricks unless it is possible to fully disguise their identity. Do not tell your family or friends or others about being on Big White Wall if you do not want to run the risk of them identifying your posts. Do not exchange any personal details including your name, address, email, telephone number, where you live/work/study or bank details with your Big White Wall friends or others on Big White Wall. Do not exchange any personal details including your name, address, email, telephone number, where you live/work/study or bank details with Wall Guides or other Big White Wall staff. Never agree to meet someone you meet on Big White Wall offline including Wall Guides and other Big White Wall staff. Without wishing to scare you, remember that not everyone portrays themselves online as they are in real life.

This site is not intended for individuals in an emergency. If you are in a life-threatening situation, please immediately dial your country's emergency number available here, or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department.

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