How does Big White Wall fit within wellbeing policy?
BWW is active in helping shape policy that supports transformative models of healthcare through digital. Some examples of this are below:
1. Big White Wall and policy
Big White Wall is a member of the New Savoy Partnership which is a coalition of national agencies working together to bring psychological therapies to the NHS and improve access for all who need them.
Further BWW maintains regular contact with national policy makers in order to promote the value of digital approaches to mental wellbeing.
2. An emphasis on mental wellbeing
Big White Wall views mental wellbeing as a systemic interplay of factors that contribute to an individual’s engagement with:
- their networks and communities and
- the society in which they live.
As such Big White Wall reflects emergent policies that place mental health services in the broader agenda of improving public health. Further, it supports the move to encourage people to self-manage their physical and mental health, with enhanced choice and personalisation, that in itself leads to improved wellbeing. It does this firmly within the context of stimulating community and connectedness as integral features of mental wellbeing.
3. Early intervention and self management
Big White Wall is based on the premise that an individual has access to appropriate psycho-social support in the moment that they experience the need. This allows them to choose to intervene in their own mental wellbeing and explore means to manage and improve their wellbeing before their mental health deteriorates to a point at which others intervene in its management.
Big White Wall places a strong emphasis on ensuring that the digital environment is both safe and presents people with choice about how to intervene in improving their own wellbeing in a community of support
4. Using community for support
Big Society talks of the importance of community. Big White Wall strongly believes this needs to encompass social media and particularly online communities as integral features of the life of the British public. Research by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, published in July 2010 suggests that people’s overall wellbeing increases as a result of the Internet.
However, this does mean that online communities need to operate within cultures of respect, tolerance, mutual learning and safety. Big White Wall was developed on the basis of a statement of what sort of community culture it was desirable to create and model; as well as how to ensure that members of that community took responsibility for their safety online alongside Big White Wall’s risk management policies and procedures.
5. Extending accessibility
The digital environment extends accessibility but also shifts the locus of control from central services to users. Big White Wall can be accessed at any time of day or night, by people who may be isolated by physical, social or other circumstances.
There is no waiting list, there are no eligibility criteria and there are no opening hours.
Big White Wall is committed to improving its accessibility. For example, it will focus on developing the space for those who do not speak English and it will create a mobile platform to extend use.
6. Caring about outcomes and who measures them
Big White Wall is fundamentally only as helpful as its community find it. Traditionally, people’s mental health has been measured for them through a variety of instruments. Big White Wall has put, with the support of their creators, a number of those instruments online for its members to take their own ‘psychological temperature’ and to use this to devise by themselves or with the support of their peers and BWW staff means to manage and improve their mental wellbeing.
Big White Wall thinks that people have an active interest in measuring different dimensions of their own wellbeing and that this will help shape their motivation to take action for its improvement