News story

Online support for the Armed Forces community

Armed Forces personnel are being urged to talk about issues that are worrying them via a social media website.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A soldier at the Army Personnel Recovery Centre in Edinburgh [Picture: Sergeant Ian Forsyth, Crown copyright]

A soldier at the Army Personnel Recovery Centre in Edinburgh is a free online space where serving personnel, veterans and their families can talk about what’s troubling them and get help and support in a safe environment whenever they need it.

The service is easy to use, completely anonymous and available 24/7. Trained professionals are online at all times to ensure everyone is safe.

Traditionally it’s men who find it difficult to talk about what’s on their mind but on the Big White Wall (BWW) they have found a place to open up. 60 per cent of BWW members from the Armed Forces community are male.

One member of BWW, currently serving, and who wishes to remain anonymous, said:

BWW helped me feel less alone in Afghanistan. For a base with 15,000 people, Camp Bastion was a pretty lonely place. It’s good to know BWW is with me wherever and whenever I need it.

BWW allows people from the Armed Forces community to get support from like-minded people to express what they’re really feeling. Members can choose to vent and express how they feel in words through a ‘Talkabout’ or images by making ‘Bricks’.

They can share issues with members of the community or trained professionals, called Wall Guides, who are online at all times. They can also conduct tests to help them understand common issues such as depression and anxiety and access lots of useful information.

BWW has professionally-led guided groups designed to help people deal with issues from work stress to getting a better night’s sleep.

The website also produces a free fortnightly email, with hints and tips for members of the Armed Forces community about topical, everyday issues that may affect them.

For example, how to deal with stress, relationship problems, money issues or simply how to think about things differently to make positive change. There’s no need to join BWW to receive wallpaper.

BWW has supported over 12,000 people to date and has been commissioned by the Ministry of Defence, Clinical Commissioning Groups, the Department of Health and Help for Heroes.

Published 14 June 2013