Free Mental Health Support for Ontarians
Big White Wall is an online peer support and self-management tool for youth 16+ and adults experiencing symptoms of mild to moderate depression and anxiety. The service is available through the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), and is free for people living in Ontario. Users can self-refer or be referred by a care provider.
How does it work?
Big White Wall helps users manage their own mental health. It is available around the clock, when other services are less likely to be available. In fact, 66% of logins to Big White Wall are after regular office hours. Users can talk anonymously with other members of the community who can relate to their feelings. Big White Wall is staffed by trained Wall Guides who make sure that the community is safe and supportive. Users also have access to online guided support courses on topics such as depression, anxiety, weight management, and smoking cessation.
For those looking for ways to express themselves through art therapy, Big White Wall provides an opportunity to display feelings using images, drawings, and words to make bricks that are posted to the Wall.
A Bit Of Background
Since its inception in 2007, Big White Wall has been active in several countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and New Zealand. It was initially introduced as a pilot in Ontario with Lakeridge Health, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, and Women’s College Hospital with positive results reported by participants. Since being formally commissioned by Ontario Telemedicine Network and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health in 2018, over 20,000 new members to the online community are from Ontario.
Who’s it for?
- 16 years or older
- Seeking support for mild to moderate depression or anxiety
- At low risk of suicide/self-harm
- With a basic level of literacy
- With access to the Internet
- Who prefer an alternate/adjunct to face-to-face therapy
- Seeking community peer support
- Looking for after-hours mental health support