Image credit: Big White Wall

Oxford signs up to offer 24 hour online mental health support to students

Oxford University students can now access 24 hour, safe online mental health support using Big White Wall.

Students now have access to a vibrant online community of anonymous members from all walks of life, who provide shared and lived experience of struggles with exam stress, relationship issues, isolation, depression and anxiety. In addition, students can access self-guided courses, a creative tool, self- assessments and a library of information, all moderated 24/7 by clinically managed and professionally trained Wall Guides.

While the move is timely and welcome relief for many during such destabilising times, the newly implemented service comes as part of the University’s student mental health and wellbeing strategy, announced last October. And is the latest offering in their commitment to supporting and promoting positive mental health for its students. Other developments in the last year include the promotion of physical health for mental wellbeing, an enhanced disability advisory service and the launch of the University’s Oxford against sexual violence campaign and support service.

The University Mental Health Charter published by Student Minds, is an avid advocate of Big White Wall. Describing the platform as ‘providing a set of principles to support universities across the UK in making mental health a university-wide priority’. The 24-hour online support at Big White Wall will sit within a suite of resources in Student Welfare & Wellbeing, complementing the counselling team at Oxford.

Gillian Hamnett, Director of Student Welfare and Support at Oxford University, 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.”

Big White Wall is offered in 95 further and higher education institutions across the UK, with over 20,000 members logging on each month to give each other support.

Henry Jones, CEO of Big White Wall, adds: “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.”