Big White Wall, a 24/7, monitored, online peer-support community for people struggling with depression and anxiety, is now available free to all Ontarians. The Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) service is available to those aged 16 and older, without a referral, by going directly to bigwhitewall.ca.
People who use Big White Wall can connect with other members on specific topics. They can also take advantage of guided support courses on topics such as depression, anxiety, weight management and smoking cessation. In addition, there is an opportunity to display feelings using images, drawings and words to make bricks that are posted to the Wall. The service is staffed round the clock by trained wall guides who make sure that the community is safe and supportive.
“On Big White Wall, I was able to connect with people, completely anonymously, monitored and safely, who were sharing my concerns,” says Jane, a Big White Wall user. “Family and friends can burn out. There’s only so much they can take, listening to anxiety, listening to your worries, feeling down. Big White Wall can do all these things and it doesn’t burn out.”
“We know that stigma and limited access to mental health resources make getting support difficult,” says Harriet Ekperigin, OTN mental health senior business lead. “This tool is available to everyone, night or day, no matter where they live in Ontario. What’s great about this is we’re bringing the support directly to the people who need it, when they need it.”
“Big White Wall can be a tremendously useful option for people struggling with anxiety and depression, youth in particular, while waiting for in-person support or as a stand-alone tool for those seeking a supportive community,” says Dr. Ed Brown, OTN CEO. “This is an exciting first for Ontarians to have direct access to this type of impactful tool at no cost.”