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Shout: the UK's only free, 24/7 mental health text messaging service

Shout is the UK’s only free, 24/7 text messaging support service, powered by charity Mental Health Innovations. The service is proven to reach new audiences who will text but not talk and take pressure off phone lines. Shout launched publicly in May 2019 and has scaled rapidly due to huge and growing demand from children, young people and adults who are anxious, depressed or suicidal and who need crisis support. Conversations are taken by trained volunteers, with real-time clinical oversight. As a digital service, the anonymised Shout dataset gives unique insight into UK mental health trends.

How Shout works

Text - SHOUT to 85258

Connect - with a trained volunteer or crisis practitioner, supervised in real-time by clinicians

Explore - build rapport, encourage texter to open up about what’s worrying them, identify the goal

Plan - work together to plan how the texter can stay safe and move forwards with coping strategies

Close - conversation ends 45-60 mins later when texter has their next steps and has reflected on their progress

82% of texters find their conversation helpful


We bring together expertise in three fields

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    Data-driven analysis

    Our unique text dataset allows us to report on your user demographics, issues, numbers, mental health trends overlaid with insight from data experts

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    Clinical expertise

    We have a team of 40 highly experienced clinicians overseeing all conversations and providing specialist insight

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    Digital innovation

    An established, tried and tested technology platform that’s designed to enable text conversations at scale with real-time clinical oversight

Our unique track record

2 million

conversations since launch

1,500 - 2,000

daily conversations with people from every region across the UK


each conversation costs less than £10


of conversations were related to suicide


safety plans co-created with texters who were at imminent risk of suicide


the number of texters who were at imminent risk referred to emergency services

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What happens to texters at imminent risk?

We've had 25,000 interventions where texters were at imminent risk of suicide. In these instances a Clinical supervisor will further assess risk.

- Emergency services are contacted in around 1-2% of all UK conversations

- Evidence suggests that medical assistance is required in 1 in 3 of interventions

Key insights into Shout texters

- 63% are children and young people

- 26% of school aged texters are receiving free school meals

- 55% have no-one else to talk to

- 38% have never spoken to anyone about their mental health before

- 7% identify as Autistic

- 3% live with learning disabilities

- 43% identify as LGBTQ+

- 7% live with ADHD


"Thank you so much, you’ve saved me from suicide, I took pills and was going to take more."

Shout texter feedback

How our keyword partnerships work:

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Our partners

We already have over 90 commissioned keyword partners including NHS England for all front-line staff and over 25 ICBs, NHS Trusts and local authorities who commission a keyword for their population.

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What our partners say

We've been partnered with Kent and Medway Local Authority since 2019. Shout is built into their integrated care system and we've supported them with 6,510 keyword conversations where texters have contacted us about a range of issues.

"We've seen a month-on-month increase in the use of the Sussex keyword and the anonymised data we receive as a keyword partner provides valuable insights about the mental health needs of our population.

One of the key benefits of the partnership is that Shout volunteers can signpost texters to local services for ongoing support with their mental health. The feedback from people who are using the service has been positive."

- Sarah Hall, Head of Programme - Mental Health Urgent & Emergency Care Transformation Sussex Health and Care

"This innovation aligns with the urgent and emergency mental health care support offer across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, supporting people to get access to mental health response 24/7 including those who may need urgent community response.

Developing this offer has increased our digital interface with our citizens to ensure we break down the barriers to health inequalities and equal access to all."

- Sonya Mclean, Senior Programme Manager, Mental Health Crisis Care Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board

Benefits of keyword partnerships include:

  • Key account manager: who will be assigned for implementation support and throughout your entire contracted period.
  • Own bespoke keyword: this word will be related to your organisation and replaces SHOUT
  • Keyword information on the Shout platform: this provides our volunteers with insight into the potential texter demographic that they're speaking to
  • Keyword signposting: for 2-3 specific local and trusted signposts
  • Keyword marketing: designed and created by our marketing experts for you to share, circulate and promote your keyword
  • Keyword insight reporting: based on your keyword population we will analyse and share with you anonymised insights and trends affecting your population. This will help you understand the issues they are facing and see which demographics are reaching out for help. The data insight Shout provides can help partners make evidence-based decisions about the resources and support services that need to be in place.

Partnering with us

The cost of a commissioned keyword service is dependent on the population size of the commissioning NHS 111 provider.

Initial costs are based on the estimated usage of the service for the first 12 months. Following this, year two and onwards, costs are calculated based on actual usage numbers.

For example, a typical NHS 111 provider* or ICB covering a population of 1.5m would be expected to pay £58,000 a year for a commissioned keyword service.

*average ICB population - 1.5m


Leave your details to talk to us about how we can help you

Get in touch with Henry Mace, Head of Commissioned Partnerships at Mental Health Innovations to find out more about our partnerships and how they can work for you.