Oxford University has signed up to Big White Wall, an online community offering 24/7 mental health support for issues such as exam stress, depression, and anxiety. The services provided by this platform include online courses overseen by health professionals, creative tools for expression, and one-on-one therapy with experienced counsellors.
Big White Wall is an online platform aimed at supporting its members to actively manage their mental health care, under the guidance of caregivers, fellow users and clinicians. The platform’s content is moderated at all hours by professionally trained Wall Guides and will be used by the University to complement its counselling service.
The University described the move as “timely”, given the global health pandemic and its implications for mental wellbeing, while also presenting the decision as part of their ongoing commitment towards mental health support for students.
In October of last year, the University’s new Student Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategy was announced, which planned to build on the £2.7 million spent on welfare services in 2018-19 and “embed wellbeing into all aspects of students’ university life, from learning and life skills to community, inclusion and support.” The decision to sign up to Big White Wall comes as the latest demonstration of this commitment.
So far, the service is being offered in 95 other higher education institutions across the UK and is used by over 20,000 members each month. Gillian Hamnett, Director of Student Welfare and Support, said: “Supporting our students’ wellbeing and mental health is a key priority for the University, and we recognise that the pandemic is a particularly worrying time.
“By expanding our existing provision with Big White Wall we hope to provide opportunities for all of our students to seek help 24/7 from wherever they are in the world. The move to remote learning is challenging for the whole community and we want our students to feel as connected and supported as possible.”
Henry Jones, CEO of Big White Wall, said: “To welcome a world-renowned university such as Oxford is a milestone in our student offering. In such isolating times, I am confident that offering a 24-hour community with a large student population will support students through the next few turbulent months and throughout the rest of their university life.”
Big White Wall can be accessed via the official website, where students can use their Oxford email to register as part of the ‘I’m from a university or college’ page.