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Shout terms of service

Last updated: 6 November 2023



The Mental Health Innovations (“Mental Health Innovations”, “we”, or “us”), Shout service (“the Service”) gives text message support to anyone who is struggling to cope. Trained Shout Volunteers are available round the clock to have conversations with texters in need of support. Volunteers help texters move to a calm and more manageable state of mind and help them form an action plan. Mental Health Innovations is a registered charity in England number 1175670.

When you send a message to Mental Health Innovations to initiate a text message conversation you will receive some automated reply messages with a link to these Terms of Service and our Privacy Notice.

Before using or accessing the Service please read both these Terms of Service and the Privacy Notice. By accessing or using the Service you confirm acceptance of our Terms of Service. These Terms govern your access and use of the Service. You may contact Mental Health Innovations by email at [email protected] with questions about these Terms. If you don’t agree to these Terms, you may not use the Service. If you no longer wish to receive messages, you may opt out at any time by texting the word STOP.


The Terms may be changed from time to time. The most up-to-date Terms will always be the ones that are posted here. Changes to the Terms of Service will be effective immediately upon our posting them here on our website. Changes to the Privacy Notice will be effective after they have been posted for at least a month.

On each separate occasion that you first send a message to Mental Health Innovations to initiate a text message conversation, you will receive some automated reply messages with a link to our current Terms of Service and Privacy Notice, so you may review them before continuing to use our service. By using the Service after receiving those automated messages, you agree to the practices outlined in the current Terms.

In order to protect your confidentiality, we never initiate direct contact with you. We are therefore unable to notify you directly of any changes to the Terms. Your use of the Service after such changes have been posted shall constitute your acceptance of the revised Terms.


Please remember that your participation in Mental Health Innovations does not constitute a solicitor-client relationship, a doctor-patient relationship, a therapist-client relationship, a therapist-patient relationship or any other sort of professional relationship. We do have a ‘duty of confidence’ to you. Our volunteers and paid staff will only use and disclose information provided to them within the rules set by Mental Health Innovations. You can read more about how we apply this duty in the Privacy Notice. Mental Health Innovations is not a substitute for professional healthcare. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, immediately call 999. If you are experiencing a clinical or long-term issue, you should consult a medical professional.

Neither Mental Health Innovations nor any of our employees, Shout Volunteers, or agents are responsible for any decisions, or results of the decisions that you make while, as a result of, or after using the Service. This includes whether you choose to seek or not seek professional care, or to modify or terminate specific treatment that you are currently receiving based on the information provided by the Service.


At the end of your conversation, you may receive a link to take a survey. This is to help us learn from you and improve our service. Some policies surrounding the survey:

  1. Responses are anonymous.
  2. You do not have to answer all of the questions.
  3. If you leave a note for your Shout Volunteer, we’ll share it with them. Your note might also be used for marketing and training.


You assume all risk for use of the Service. To the extent permitted by law neither Mental Health Innovations nor any of our employees, Shout Volunteers, agents, service providers, or any other entities with whom Mental Health Innovations has contracted shall have any liability for:

(1) actions taken by you or a third party, or not taken by you or a third party, or

(2) the unavailability of the Service,

and you agree to indemnify us and hold us harmless for damages arising out of (A) your use of the Service, (B) your breach of these Terms, (C) your violation of the law, (D) claims asserted by third parties that you are in breach of these Terms or (E) information provided by you through Mental Health Innovations. Without limiting the foregoing, in no event shall Mental Health Innovations be liable for any special, incidental, consequential, exemplary or indirect damages.

The service is provided on an “as is” basis and “as available” basis. Mental Health Innovations and its service providers expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, Mental Health Innovations and its service providers make no warranty that Mental Health Innovations will (A) meet your requirements; (B) be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error-free; or (C) meet your expectations. The foregoing disclaimers of liability apply to the extent permitted by law to all damages or injury, including those caused by any failure of performance, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect or delay in operation or transmission, whether for breach of contract, tortious behaviour, including negligence, or any other cause of action.


You may use Mental Health Innovations only for lawful purposes and in accordance with these Terms. You agree to use the Service only for lawful and legitimate purposes. You agree not to use the Service:

  • in any way that violates any applicable law or regulation;
  • for the purpose of exploiting, harming or attempting to exploit or harm children or young people in any way by exposing them to inappropriate content, asking for personal information or otherwise;
  • to threaten, harass, or otherwise inappropriately abuse Mental Health Innovations, its employees, partners, agents, subcontractors, Shout Volunteers, or others;
  • to send, knowingly receive, upload, download, use or re-use any content which does not comply with these Terms;
  • to “spam,” gather or attempt to gather personal information belonging to users or others for the purposes of spamming, marketing, selling to third parties, or otherwise abusing Mental Health Innovations or its users;
  • to impersonate or attempt to impersonate another person or entity; or
  • to engage in any other conduct that restricts or inhibits anyone’s use or enjoyment of the Service, or which, as determined by us, may harm Mental Health Innovations or users of the Service or expose them to liability; or
  • to copy, adapt, decompile, reverse engineer, attempt to discover the source code of or make a derivative works of the Service or any portion of the Service; or
  • to otherwise attempt to interfere with the proper working of Mental Health Innovations.

Mental Health Innovations reserves the right to terminate your access to the Service if you violate these Terms, including by engaging in the prohibited uses described above. For example, we might determine that you’d be better served by a different kind of support or that you require services beyond those that we can reasonably provide to you. Mental Health Innovations further reserves the right to terminate the Service or your access to it, for any other reason, at our sole discretion.


These Terms only apply to you and Mental Health Innovations. We are not responsible for and make no representations regarding the policies of business practices of any Third-Party Services. If you contact us through a Third-Party Service, you are subject to these Terms as well as the terms and policies of the Third-Party Service. We encourage you to review the terms and policies of any Third-Party Service you use to contact Mental Health Innovations. If you do not wish to be subject to a Third-Party Service’s terms or policies, please do not contact Mental Health Innovations through a Third-Party Service; instead you should contact us by texting Mental Health Innovations.


We employ reasonable security controls (including encryption) to help protect your information. Despite these protections, SMS remains an imperfectly secure environment. We try hard, but Mental Health Innovations cannot guarantee protection from intruders, hackers or interceptors. You use the Service and submit information to Mental Health Innovations at your own risk.

Additionally, we care about the privacy and safety of our staff and Shout Volunteers. In using the Service, you agree to not communicate with our Shout Volunteers outside of the Service. If you have questions, comments or feedback for us, please email [email protected].


It is free and confidential to text our service from the following major networks:

EE, O2, Three and Vodafone

These include - BT Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile, iD Mobile, Sky, Telecom Plus, Lebara, Smarty and GiffGaff.

Some Android phones issue a warning that you will be charged for texting us, provided you are on one of these networks this warning is incorrect and you will not be charged.

If you text us from a network that is not on this list there is a possibility that you may be charged for the messages and that they may appear on your bill, this is because some networks do not provide the capability to message short codes.