When Emily contacted Shout for help, she had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and felt isolated, unsure of who she could talk to.
She was living in busy student halls, where anyone could overhear a conversation, and so the discrete nature of Shout’s text message mental health service was key to her feeling able to reach out for support.
Texting Shout was definitely a turning point for me. I began to accept my illness and realise it didn't have to hold me back. I felt able to have hope for my future again.
"The volunteer listened to all my worries about my illness and how much I was struggling with my diagnosis. They didn't tell me what to do or how to feel, instead empowering me to make my own decisions about my care and what I needed at that time."
Shout is available 24/7, which was another key factor for Emily, who found her need for support was greatest at the times of day when most services were closed.
When my care teams were closed, Shout was always there - no matter what.
"The volunteer gently encouraged me to see that a diagnosis doesn't define me and that I can achieve anything I want to, despite this illness.
Throughout the conversation, they took me from a moment of real struggle to one where I felt able to have hope for my future.”
Thanks to the support she received, Emily now writes about having bipolar disorder to help others like her realise they’re not alone and that their illness doesn’t have to hold them back.
Emily also works as a Shout Volunteer, just like the person who helped her when she needed it most.