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Today, the Department of Health and Social Care has opened its 12 week Call for Evidence to inform a new 10 year Mental Health Plan to support and improve the mental health and wellbeing of the nation. Find out more.

The Call for Evidence will seek views from the general public, those with lived experience and those who support, care for or interact with people with mental ill-health. You can share your views before 11:45pm on 5 July 2022 by following this link.

Mental Health Innovations will contribute insights and evidence from our Shout text message support service, which has seen daily conversation numbers triple during the Covid-19 pandemic.

To date, we have taken 1.2 million conversations with 468,000 children, young people and adults struggling to cope with suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, stress, self-harm, loneliness and more.

Victoria Hornby, CEO of Mental Health Innovations, which powers Shout, said:

“We welcome the Call for Evidence to inform a new 10 year Mental Health Plan and look forward to contributing insights and evidence from the first four years of the operation of the Shout service.

“Over the course of the pandemic, our Shout text service saw conversation numbers with people in distress increase three-fold. This substantial growth has enabled us to gain unique insights into the mental health needs and experiences of key groups, including children and young people, those who identify as LGBTQ+, people with autism and underserved communities.

"43% of people texting Shout tell us that this is the first time they have asked for help, demonstrating the value of free, confidential, accessible and in-the-moment support. We know that people need access to mental health support around the clock with 74% of Shout conversations taking place outside 9am-5pm. Young people in particular are seeking help at night when there is much less support available; the use of our service by school age children peaks at midnight.

“We hope our learning can help to support the development of innovative, accessible and diverse services to meet the current and future mental health needs of our children, young people and adults.”

The Mental Health Plan is due to be published later this year.