As we are already aware in addition to looking after the UK’s physical wellbeing the mental health of our nation is also extremely important at this time. I was delighted through my work as a MHFA England Licensed Trainer to be given the opportunity to train to become a Crisis Volunteer for Shout.
Shout is a 24/7 UK crisis text service available for times when people feel they need immediate support. By texting SHOUT to 85258 a Texter will be put in touch with a trained Crisis Volunteer (CV) who will chat to them using trained techniques via text. The service is designed to help individuals think more clearly and to take their next steps to feeling better.
Shout was publicly launched in May 2019, after a yearlong pilot phase. It is based on the successful US model Crisis Text Line. Shout is part of Mental Health Innovations(MHI) founded in 2017, following the success of The Royal Foundation’s ‘Heads Together’ campaign, which identified how utilising digital platforms and tools has huge potential to offer support services to individuals struggling with their mental health.
The training to become a crisis volunteer has been intense but extremely rewarding and I am excited to be able to play my small part during what is and will continue to be a difficult time for so many people.
In addition to this, there are many more fantastic organisations which you can turn to for support if you or a loved one are struggling.
To talk about anything that is upsetting you, you can contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 116 123 (free from any phone) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the Welsh Language Line on 0300 123 3011 (7pm–11pm every day).
If you're experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else, you can call on 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm – 10.30pm everyday).
If you're under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings, or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, you can call P on 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–10pm) or text 07786 209 697.
If you identify as male, you can call the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm–midnight every day) or use their webchat service.
If you're a student, you can look on the Nightline website to see if your university or college offers a night-time listening service. Nightline phone operators are all students too.
If you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you can call Switchboard on 0300 330 0630 (10am–10pm every day) or use their webchat service. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.
If you live in Wales, you can call the Community Advice and Listening Line (C.A.L.L.) on 0800 132 737 (open 24/7) or you can text 'help' followed by a question to 81066.