The Diocese of London has partnered with the mental health text support service, Shout 85258, to bolster its support for those experiencing mental health challenges across the city.
Announcing the partnership during her Faith and Mental Health Lecture at the Guild of Health & St Raphael tomorrow, the Bishop of London will formally launch a new Diocese of London ‘keyword’ that people in London can use to message Shout when they need in the moment mental health support.
Shout is a free, 24/7, confidential and anonymous mental health text support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. From today, people within the Diocese will immediately be connected to one of Shout’s trained volunteers by texting the word ‘Neighbour’ to 85258.
The partnership is the latest initiative by the Diocese to provide additional support and guidance to Londoners during the pandemic. Parishes across the city have stepped up their efforts to help communities over the past year, from the expansion of online support services, food bank provision and community outreach, to logistical support for hospitals and healthcare services.
The Bishop of London, The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, said:
“The past year has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health. We have all had times when we have felt overwhelmed, like it’s all becoming too much or that we’re reaching a point of crisis. Now, more than ever, we need to reach out to our neighbours and provide support wherever we can. Shout is a remarkable, sometimes life-saving service that helps people recover from difficult moments. Run by volunteers, Shout immediately connects those who text to a friendly, guiding voice prepared to listen, understand and talk.
“Startlingly, 65% of those who text Shout are aged under 25 and 7% are aged 13 or under. So many of our young people feel trapped by their circumstances and the pressures and uncertainties they face. Shout is an essential lifeline to them and so many others across London. I’m proud that our Diocese is partnering with Shout to raise awareness of the service and of the challenges faced by so many, and to reach out to those in our communities who need our support most.”
Victoria Hornby, CEO of Mental Health Innovations, the charity behind the Shout 85258 service said:
“Shout is thrilled to have partnered with the Diocese of London to offer our support to their communities across the city. Our partnerships are so important for us to extend the mental health support we’re able to give to new audiences and this is a wonderful opportunity to be able to spread the word about Shout 85258 to parishes across London. It’s clear that the pandemic has had a huge impact on mental health and we hope that with Shout’s free, 24/7 service, those who need support will be able to find the courage to take a positive step forward and reach out to start a conversation.”
Shout launched in 2019 and is the first service from Mental Health Innovations, a digital mental health charity which uses data-driven analysis, clinical expertise and technological innovation to develop pioneering digital products and services that improve the mental health of the UK population. Shout 85258 has now supported texters through more than 600,000 conversations, and through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
You can text ‘Neighbour’ to 85258 any time day or night to be connected to a trained Shout Volunteer who will chat with you by text. They will listen to you and help you think more clearly, enabling you to know that you can take the next steps to feeling better. It is confidential, and for most mobile phone networks is free and won’t show up on your phone bill.