An English Wall for All of Us
It’s Boxing Day in Commonwealth countries, and in honor of most of the rest of the English-speaking world, I thought it a good day to reflect on a service that combat veterans are using in the UK and that, who knows, may one day become more widely available in the United States, The Big White Wall.
Boxing Day started out as a way to celebrate the working stiff: the day that those who had to serve the gentry on Christmas got to spend time with their families, hopefully with a box of goodies that their employers had given them in thanks.
It also happens to be the Feast of Stephen, the day on which Good King Wenceslas looked out, remember him? As in, how many times did you hear his name on your Christmas-only radio these past weeks?
These days, Boxing Day is primarily a time for after-Christmas sales and rugby/cricket matches, sort of a classed-up cross between Thanksgiving afternoon and Black Friday in the US. Still, it’s a day off, so more power to it.
The Big White Wall, though, is anything but another excuse to lounge in front of the TV after hitting the sales. With a history arising out of social services in London, it is an anonymous social network dedicated to helping people connect with others who struggle with depression, anxiety, and the long-lasting effects of trauma of all kinds. Developed in conjunction with the National Health Service, the service provides education, emotional outlet, and 24/7 guided support to help people connect, say what might not otherwise be said, and find a way out of a loneliness that, sometimes, only anonymity can provide.
The US version is developing even as we speak. As of now, it is available only to individuals with certain health care providers and/or employers, but hopefully its availability will expand as well.
The longer I’m in this business, the more impressed I become that healing comes through meaningful connection, no matter what, if any, initials one may have behind one’s name. Whether or not you have a cyber-wall to write upon, remember that there are always connections worth looking for, striving for, and living for.
And you still have what it takes to get them.
Until tomorrow, be well,