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The Duchess of Cambridge celebrates Shout’s 1 millionth conversation

In 2019, the public’s support for BBC Children in Need’s A Million & Me programme helped to provide a grant of £1.5 million to Shout, the UK’s first and only free, confidential, 24/7 text message mental health service.

We are extremely proud that Shout recently reached the incredible milestone of one million conversations with 400,000 children, young people and adults across the UK in immediate distress.

To mark the occasion, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge visited Shout’s offices in January to thank their incredible volunteers, fundraisers and clinicians in helping to provide one million hours of support.

The Duchess of Cambridge with a young boy at Shout

BBC Children in Need is proud of our relationship with Shout – an innovative, effective and critically, a 24/7 text line. Among a million conversations, many children have been supported towards positive outcomes and better mental health. We could not in 2019 have predicted how dramatically the need for this service would increase as a result of Covid-19. The Shout model offers help where, when and how children want it, and also provides essential data on the scale and nature of their concerns.

Paddy Sloan, Director of BBC Children in Need's A Million & Me programme

During her visit, The Duchess heard how the demand for Shout’s 24/7 text messaging support service, powered by charity Mental Health Innovations, has risen by 140% during the Covid-19 pandemic and is continuing to grow, with suicide (34%), depression (32%) and anxiety (31%) being the main reasons people have sought support.

Insights from Shout’s unique dataset also revealed that the majority of texters are under the age of 25 (69%), with 9% under 13.

Shout is currently asking members of the public to apply to become a volunteer. Could you help them take their next million conversations? Find out more here.

If you are struggling to cope and need to talk, Shout’s Volunteers are here for you, day or night. Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, anonymous text support service. You can text from wherever you are in the UK.

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

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