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Share your story

If you’ve texted Shout 85258 and been helped by one of our trained volunteers, or you’ve got a positive story about how talking about your mental health has helped you, we’d love to hear from you and help others who may be in need of support.

The power of a text conversation

One thing many people who use our service tell us, is that it’s the first time they’ve reached out for help. The nature of text means it is easy, accessible, and confidential to talk to us. You can send a text from wherever you are in the UK and whatever you’re doing, without the fear of being overheard.

“Thank you for being there and listening. I've never used a service like this before and you made it comfortable.”

We want more people to know that our free service is there to help them too. No matter what someone is going through, if they are struggling to cope we want them to know they are not alone.

Seeing stories from people who have faced similar struggles and received support can be hugely empowering and encourage someone to reach out for help about their own situation too.

How will your story be shared?

There are a few different channels we might use to share your story. These include:

  • Website and social media: This would show people who are interested in our service and our community online how we can help them.
  • Media (TV/Radio/Press): Sometimes media outlets may wish to share stories of the people we have helped, which can raise awareness to lots of people.
  • Fundraising materials: By showing how we’ve helped you, we can showcase the valuable work we do and demonstrate the need for funding for our text support service.
  • Communications materials: We sometimes produce reports that show the impact of our service. Being able to share real stories of people we have helped is an important part of showing the need for Shout.

Protecting and supporting you with this process

You are not alone at any stage of this journey. We will never share your story without your permission, and if we want to share it in the future using a different channel, we will ask you again before doing so. We will provide input to help you write your story or prepare for an interview.

You can choose:

  • To remain anonymous and we will not share any details that will identify who you are.
  • To tell us which channels you’re happy for us to use to publicise your story.

To take part, you must:

  • Be over 18
  • Be aware that sharing your story publicly will result in awareness of your story and to be comfortable with that. Don’t’ forget, you will remain anonymous but can tell us if you’d prefer not to be.
  • Be feeling resilient and ok to talk about your mental health story. We think this usually means that at least six months has gone by since you last used the service.

Our process

Due to the number of submissions we receive, it is not possible for us to respond to everyone who volunteers to share their story individually. While we are grateful to you for sharing your story with us, we will let you know if we are going to take your story forwards. It can sometimes take a few weeks to hear back from us but we will be in touch to let you know if/when we are going to share your story.

We will edit your submission to ensure it is as clear as possible for others to read and ensure web usability. We will also change at least your name and location so that you aren’t identifiable.

We cannot publish anything that is triggering, so avoid talking about suicide and self-harm descriptions and methods, and instead talk about your feelings.

We cannot publish anything that is promoting a commercial service or highlighting political views and opinions, and any resources submitted will be run past our clinical team for confirmation.

Any submissions you share will be treated in line with our privacy policy and the Shout Terms of Service. In submitting a story you’re promising to us that it’s yours, is true and that you’re in a good place, it being at least six months since you used our service. In so far as necessary to achieve our agreed aims, by submitting your story, you transfer to us any intellectual property rights (including moral rights) existing in any published version of your story.

Submitting your story

Please send an email to texterstories@giveusashout.org. You will receive an automated response asking you to submit further details.

Thank you.