Today we published a new report, Two million Shout conversations: Saving lives at scale through the power of technology. The report, with a Foreword from The Prince of Wales, reveals insights from the two million conversations we have taken with 675,000 people in mental health distress through the Shout text messaging support service.
Mental Health Innovations was founded in 2017 with a grant from The Royal Foundation, to increase support for people struggling with their mental health by harnessing the power of technology. A year later we launched Shout, which we have rapidly scaled over the past few years, providing early intervention through digital to so many people that the benefit of text services to support mental health has now been widely recognised, particularly in the Suicide Prevention Strategy for England. We reached the milestone of two million conversations with people in need of urgent help in June 2023.
Through Shout’s digital platform we’ve been able to help people who haven’t found support anywhere else. In this report we take a look at the types of people who are using Shout and explore how we reach vulnerable populations such as children and young people, the LGBTQ+ community, neurodiverse people, pregnant women, new mothers, those facing financial difficulty and people in the criminal justice system. We also look at the issues our texters are discussing with us and our work to prevent suicide.
We’re able to gain this insight by using groundbreaking data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyse our anonymised text based conversations. This helps us understand the data, improve the service and use the insight more widely for social good.
In the report we thank our wonderful partners who help us reach more people in need through our work together. We celebrate our dedicated volunteer community and our tireless supporters and fundraisers, and we take a look at some of our campaign highlights. We also tell the stories of some of our texters who have shown extraordinary courage and strength in contacting Shout, and who we are privileged to support.