Caitlyn, 19, started struggling with her mental health during her early teens. When she finally felt able to reach out for support, Caitlyn’s school worked with her to help alleviate her distress. Shout was one of the services recommended to her.
In Caitlyn’s words:
I just want people to know that it’s 100% okay to ask for help. Shout is a very helpful service, full of very kind people. Talking is scary, but it can definitely be worth it. You’re never alone.
Why did you text Shout?
When I first contacted Shout, I was in school. I felt very anxious and felt very unsafe. In that moment, I just wanted to disappear. I couldn’t physically talk to anyone and the messaging service was much easier for me to reach out on.
The team at Shout made me feel less alone. They helped me find ways to distract myself if the anxiety attack ever came on again. The kindness I received even made me smile.
How did the Shout Volunteer help you?
A few months after I first contacted Shout, I found myself in another crisis and reached out to them again. I was so overwhelmed, hopeless and scared. The volunteer talked me through my emotions, making me feel listened to and validated. Together, we created a plan for the afternoon that consisted of activities I liked as distractions and she sent me some links to useful websites for self-harm alternatives. When our chat ended, I felt empowered to try these things and I got through the afternoon.
What were the best things about using Shout for you?
I think the fact that Shout is a messaging based service helped massively. It’s so much easier to type your thoughts and feelings rather than saying them out loud. In one of my experiences, I was in a public place and Shout was the only service I felt able to communicate with in that time of distress.
The volunteers were also amazing with me. I never finished a conversation with Shout wishing that I didn’t reach out, which was a common feeling for me at the time. They always made me feel so listened to and understood, sometimes that was exactly what I needed. They also always made sure to make a safety plan by talking with me about what I enjoy and what I could do after the conversation, or if I started feeling distressed again.
With the help of Shout, I managed to get through the day safely.