BWW outcomes and cost effectiveness - headlines
• 95% of members feel better as a result. 73% share an issue for the first time
• 80% of members self-manage their psychological issues through BWW
• Two thirds of members would not normally have sought help for mental health issues
• 54% recovery rate from BWW LiveTherapy service – UK national target is 50% (average 46%)
• 67% adherence rate for GPs issuing BWW prescriptions
• BWW saves £37,000 per 100 members for its mental health services
An independent review of Big White Wall was conducted in 2009. This found:
- Big White Wall was used most commonly to relieve stress (64%), loneliness (62%), anxiety (51%) and depression (approx 30%). One quarter of users were experiencing suicidal feelings and one fifth were self-harming. Factors underlying these conditions included relationship difficulties, family problems, work concerns, sexuality, bereavement, sexual abuse, financial worries, domestic violence, eating concerns and alcohol/drug use. (Hereafter, referred to as the issues).
- Three factors appeared to be critical in users deciding to use the service: connection with others experiencing mental distress, lack of alternative safe and anonymous places and immediate ease of access. In terms of quality of experience, respondents found choice over how and when to engage and the supportive culture of the community most valuable. In comparison to other online communities of which respondents were members, Big White Wall was considered more personally helpful (81%) and safer (67%).
- Three quarters of respondents had never shared the issues they raised on Big White Wall with anyone else. The most important factors that enabled disclosure were freedom of expression (84%), anonymity (81%), trust in the community (58%) and safety (54%). These reflect the aims of the service in providing a secure place in which users share issues without fear of repercussions in their work and family lives.
- Looking at other potential sources of support for the issues raised on Big White Wall, three in five respondents were unlikely to turn to a doctor, work colleague or employer for support. The most likely others sources of support were friends (32%), counsellors/therapists (29%) and family (20%). Overall, over three quarters of respondents found Big White Wall more or much more helpful than any other source of support in their lives, including family, friends, doctors, therapists and employers.
- More than nine in ten respondents reported improved mental wellbeing as a result of their experience on Big White Wall, including enhanced self-understanding and reduced isolation as well as lower levels of stress and depression
- The majority of users were able to self-manage their mental wellbeing without recourse to further help. Others found it a helpful to step to, or complementary with, other medical or therapeutic intervention.
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