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23 February 2022

Shout and your information

Every day, thousands of people text Shout for in the moment support with their mental health. If you are feeling anxious, worried or overwhelmed, we are here for you around the clock.

As a digital, confidential and anonymous service, we take your privacy and data security incredibly seriously and follow all UK data regulations. By data, we mean the information that comes up in the course of your text conversations. We do not share your personal data with people or organisations outside Shout, except where the law tells us we have to.

We will always try to ask you before we contact a third party. However, there are situations where we might need to pass on information without your agreement. Examples of this might be where we believe that your life is in immediate danger or that you or someone else is at risk. These are outlined in our Shout service user privacy and confidentiality policy.

When you start a conversation with Shout, your texts are seen by the Shout Volunteer you are speaking to. They can also be viewed by Shout clinical staff who are supervising the service.

We mainly use data from Shout conversations to help us improve our service. Looking at data allows us to understand more about the kinds of things our texters are talking about so we can better respond to your needs. Insights also help guide us so we can develop more useful information for you on our website, write new helpful guides, and improve training for Shout Volunteers.

Our data also helps us and others to understand the mental health of people across the UK, so that services can be developed and improved to help more people.

We won’t share your personal data with researchers but sometimes we will share data from conversations that we have made anonymous with carefully selected academic partners for research purposes. As such, researchers cannot access complete conversations.

Anonymising the data means that we remove things that can personally identify you from the data. This includes names, addresses, city names, postcodes, places of work, email addresses, URLs, phone numbers and social media handles.

When you use the Shout service you agree to our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy, which are sent to you in a text before you start your conversation with us. The link to these will remain in your text messages so you can read them again at any time. If you decide that you do not want us to keep your data after your conversation you can ask us to delete personal data, such as name, address, phone number, and texts from all conversations by simply texting LOOFAH to 85258.

If you have any questions about how Shout uses data, please email [email protected].