A free mental health service available to everyone living in Lancashire and South Cumbria has been renamed.
Big White Wall has supported thousands of people across the region over the past few years, but from today (5 August 2020) will be known as Togetherall.
And while thousands of local people were urged to stay at home to protect their physical health due to COVID-19, it is understandable many may struggle with their mental health as a result. Therefore, mental health leads across Lancashire and South Cumbria are encouraging residents to use free resources such as Togetherall.
Paul Hopley, mental health deputy director at Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS), said: “We know that some people have been struggling with their mental health over the past few months during the pandemic.
“To tackle this, we have hugely increased the mental health and wellbeing services available to local people remotely, including offering Togetherall to more people across Lancashire and South Cumbria and working collaboratively with partners to launch new helplines and text numbers.
“For children and young people, there are some excellent online resources on Healthy Young Minds, a website which focuses on many common issues such as anxiety or low mood.
“We have also developed a new interactive map, which allows people to easily search for their closest and most appropriate mental health service.
“We would like to reassure local residents that the NHS is here for you when they need it.”
Togetherall, which is available at https://togetherall.com, provides a clinically safe and anonymous online community providing peer to peer support, personal assessments, and self-help courses for those who need it.
Dr Ros Bonsor, local GP, and mental health clinical lead at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “We are hearing more and more that people are feeling isolated and lonely, which can have a real negative impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing and lead to an increase in mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
“We are committed to supporting people with their mental health by providing varied and high-quality services for them to access.
“Togetherall is a fantastic tool for people who are struggling with their mental health as they can log in anonymously and express how they are feeling to a community of people who feel the same way, who can understand and support.
“And for those who struggle to put how they feel into words, they can ‘draw a brick’ on the website to express the difficulties they are facing, which many people find quite therapeutic and relieving. There are other resources to help such as a range of online courses, for example, to help sleep, anxiety and worry, and many more.”
Togetherall is constantly monitored by ‘wall guides’ who are on hand 24/7 and will intervene if members seem particularly low and at-risk and provide personal support on a one-to-one basis. Togetherall also offers members the opportunity to take online tests to measure their anxiety or depression levels to set goals and track their progress. Online courses with health professionals covering things like sleep problems, stopping smoking and anger management are also available.
Henry Jones, chief executive of Togetherall, said: “The name Togetherall represents our community which is open and inclusive to all people. The logo design incorporates two interconnected speech bubbles to represent conversation while also forming a roof shape above the two ‘L’s to represent a place of safety for all members.
“At Togetherall we have seen activity and registrations across the service more than double, with 60 per cent of conversations over the past month discussing COVID-19. In response to the pandemic, we have expanded our clinical and on-duty teams to effectively moderate increased activity across our community and manage risk. We have also added additional relevant content and signposting across the service.
“If any residents are experiencing heightened feelings of isolation, loneliness, stress or worry, I would encourage them to use Togetherall for free to keep connected and receive support from our community. We can all help each other through these uncertain times.”
For more information or to sign up to Togetherall quickly, anonymously and free of charge, visit https://togetherall.com/.
Mental health and wellbeing support available across Lancashire and South Cumbria:
- To find your closest mental health service visit the Lancashire and South Cumbria mental health services map (https://www.healthierlsc.co.uk/ServiceMap)
- Visit Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System mental health and wellbeing support page(https://healthierlsc.co.uk/MentalHealthSupport) for a list of help and resources available in the area.
- For information and support for children and young people, visit the Lancashire and South Cumbria Healthy Young Minds website (https://www.healthyyoungmindslsc.co.uk/)
- The Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCFT) mental health crisis telephone support service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling 0800 953 0110. Trained medical professionals are available to answer calls from people needing immediate advice or assistance, for themselves or a friend or family member. Callers can receive a mental health assessment and referral on to appropriate services.
- People who would like to chat with someone about their mental health or who are feeling lonely, are encouraged to call the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCFT) Mental Health Wellbeing Helpline on 0800 915 4640 or text ‘Hello’ to 07860 022 846.