Texts for mental health support soar in pandemic


he number of people seeking mental health support by text message has almost doubled since the start of the pandemic, figures show.

A new report from Shout 85258, a 24-hour text support service for people in crisis which is supported by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, highlights the impact that Covid-19 has had on mental health.

The number of people texting the service for help has increased from 475 per day to 925 per day since the start of the pandemic. Text conversations on the helpline — staffed by trained volunteers and clinicians — have risen from 750 to 1,400 per day.

The Shout service launched in 2019 with a £2 million grant from the Royal Foundation. Today’s report, which analyses the first 500,000 text conversations, said the number of people mentioning Covid-19 rose steadily from early March last year. The busiest period was December 20 and 21, after people in Tier 4 areas in England were told not to mix households at Christmas.

Anyone in the UK can text SHOUT to 85258 for free, 24/7 mental health support.


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