The Duchess of Cambridge visited Shout to mark the mental health text service reaching over one million conversations with those in need. During her visit, The Duchess met clinical supervisors, volunteers and fundraisers to thank them for their invaluable efforts to ensure that vital mental health support is available across the UK at any time of day or night. The Duchess also heard how the service is inviting members of the public to become Shout Volunteers to meet growing demand for support.
Shout is the UK’s only 24/7 text messaging support service, offering free and confidential help for anyone who is struggling to cope. Since its launch in May 2019, Shout has taken over 1,000,000 conversations with people who are anxious, stressed, depressed, suicidal or overwhelmed and who need immediate support. The service, which was researched, developed and launched with a founding grant from The Royal Foundation as a legacy of the Heads Together campaign, provides round the clock support from clinical supervisors and over 2,500 trained volunteers to ensure no one has to face their problems alone.
Upon arrival, The Duchess learnt how data from the conversations taking place on the Shout service can be used to provide insights on mental health in the UK, with suicide (34%), depression (32%) and anxiety or stress (31%) being cited as the main reasons why texters have sought support. She also saw a live demonstration of the platform before joining a small group of Shout Volunteers to hear about their experiences of helping those in distress, and how they have personally benefitted from taking part in the service, including by gaining new skills and developing a sense of purpose. Her Royal Highness also met those carrying out fundraising efforts to help Shout to continue to deliver its crucial services including thirteen-year-old Leo Street, who raised over £8,000 by sleeping outside for the entirety of 2021, and Cassie Waters who began raising money for Shout after using the service herself when she suffered mental health challenges in 2021.
Shout has seen usage on its platform increase by 140% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and The Duchess heard how the service will need even more volunteers to join its ranks to ensure that it can meet this growing demand.