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10 October 2023

Make a Connection

Shout is a free, confidential, anonymous text support service. You can text us from wherever you are in the UK.

If you are struggling to cope and need to talk, text the word 'Journey' to 85258. Trained Shout Volunteers are here for you, day or night.

If your life is at imminent risk, please call 999 for immediate help.


Shout has partnered with Network Rail and the wider rail industry to remind anyone who needs it that help is just a text message away. The Make a Connection campaign forms part of the rail industry’s efforts to engage with the public upstream and signpost them to mental health support services at the earliest opportunity.

If you're struggling with your mental health, make a connection with someone who can help. Text the keyword ‘Journey’ to 85258 to access free and confidential mental health support, 24/7.

The importance of connection

Meaningful connections, where you feel supported and valued, are fundamental to positive mental health and a key antidote to loneliness - one of the main reasons why people contact Shout.

Shout provides a moment of digital connection that is free, confidential and available anywhere in the UK. Opening up and sharing how you feel with a Shout Volunteer, or with trusted connections, strengthening current relationships, and investing in yourself and your interests are valuable ways of building connections and overcoming loneliness.

Coping skills that Shout texters tell us they use to combat feelings of loneliness include:

  • listening to podcasts or the radio
  • talking to friends and family
  • joining a club or group
  • exercising
  • breathing exercises

Find more tips to help you feel connected to yourself and others here.

Emily's story

Shout Volunteer Emily, 27, knows the importance of making meaningful connections. After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and feeling isolated at university, she contacted Shout for help.

“Mental health [issues] can really affect anyone, from students to people on their commute. My advice to anyone struggling is that it’s never too soon to reach out for help, to make a connection and to get support. No matter how hard things are now, I promise things can change, can get better and will improve.”

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Background research

The evidence base for the Make a Connection campaign comes from a new report by our parent charity Mental Health Innovations.

The report found that connection is of fundamental importance to mental health and wellbeing, providing us with a sense of belonging and a better quality of life.

Read the report.