Frontier Economics conducted a break-even analysis of Shout, looking at how many suicides need to be prevented each year to cover the annual cost of running the service, and found:
- Shout delivers value for money on suicide prevention alone, before considering the wider benefits the service generates in relation to other mental health conditions or the emotional benefits to individuals of preventing a suicide.
- At a value for life of £2m, if Shout prevented just 3.3 suicides each year, it would break even. Testimonies, including those from the Metropolitan Police and Shout texters, indicate that the service exceeds this and has saved at least 18 lives in its first three years, equating to more than five lives a year. However, given that it is highly unlikely that this anecdotal evidence captures all instances where lives were saved - especially given the high number of interventions, coupled with reporting back to Shout from texters or emergency services on whether a life has been saved is not done on a comprehensive basis - the actual figure could be much higher.
- Shout provides a service that is especially valued by young people, meaning that the threshold for breaking-even could in fact be lower, given the greater number of life years saved by preventing the suicide of a young person.
- Shout provides support to many people at risk of suicide who would likely not otherwise be captured by alternative mental health programmes and systems.