Explore the FAQs
If you have questions that aren’t answered in the FAQs, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What kind of issues can I text VIP to 85258 about?
The conversation is in your hands. You can chat with volunteers about whatever is affecting you, including bullying and abuse, stress and anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Shout’s volunteers are trained to support you through any crisis.
What mobile phone networks can I text Shout from?
You can text VIP to 85258 free and anonymously from all major UK networks. It is free and confidential to text the 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 and GiffGaff.
Will the Volunteer know I am visually impaired?
If you text VIP to 85258, the Volunteer will receive a note about the Vision Foundation and Fight for Sight keyword partnership. This note will explain that the keyword ‘VIP’ was set up for blind and partially sighted texters.
How long do I have to wait for a Shout Volunteer?
Shout aims to respond to everybody as soon as they can, but you may need to wait at busy times (e.g. at night or on high awareness days such as ‘World Mental Health Day’), when wait times may be longer.
Is there a character limit when texting VIP to 85258?
Yes, the system is only able to process 160 characters in one message. If you have more to share, just send multiple shorter messages.
Will this service be able to provide me with regular, long term support?
As Shout is a de-escalation, volunteer-driven organisation, we may not be able to provide you with the kind of service you might need, if you are looking for continuous regular support. We recommend that you speak with your local GP or if applicable your mental health support team.
I want to stop my conversation with a Shout Volunteer
Message the word ‘STOP’ at anytime during a conversation to end the conversation. The volunteer will not message you again once you have ended the conversation. If you would like to start the conversation again, text 85258 saying ‘START’.
I want my conversation with Shout deleted from the system
Text 85258 with the word LOOFAH following your conversation and they will remove or ‘scrub’ your data from the system.
Are my messages confidential?
Messages to 85258 are confidential unless they are concerned about someone’s safety. If a texter is believed to be in imminent danger or a safeguarding issue is raised, the Clinical Supervisor (who monitors all conversations on the platform to ensure the right support is being given) will share the texter’s details with emergency services or appropriate authorities in order to keep them safe.
In cases when a texter is in immediate danger of suicide or homicide, as determined by a risk assessment by the Shout Volunteer and Supervisor, the first step is to try to work with the texter to form a safety plan. If the texter is unable to plan for their own safety, the Supervisor may contact emergency services, who may dispatch a wellness check. We take your confidentiality seriously. Please view the terms of service.
For full FAQs and more information on the service, please visit Shout’s website.